T&E Audit Uncovers $1.2 Million Theft
Vendor scam at juvenile diabetes foundation
A former official of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation led a false invoicing scheme from 2004 to 2007 that resulted in the theft of more than $1 million from the organization. The foundation that Mary Tyler Moore publicly chairs first discovered fraudulent travel expenses from Jonathan Stenger, former director of communications and publications, during a routine audit. The inflated travel expenses included $4,658.17 in forged hotel receipts.
That led to a deeper investigation that uncovered the fake invoicing scam, investigators said. Stenger enlisted the help of four friends to bill the foundation for paper and other supplies he never actually ordered, authorities said.
Stenger and his friends were indicted in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan on several counts, including grand larceny, money laundering, forgery and filing false business records. Others charged were Harold Chayefsky, a print broker for Wintry Press and Mill River Press; Robert Krueger, an assistant professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; James Wawrzewski, the president of Cobalt Design Group; and Justin Sias.
Apparently Chayefsky and Wawrzewski, as well as the Merriweather Group and the Crowcombe Group, companies started by Stenger and Krueger, conspired to carry out the scheme. As part of the process, Chayefsky submitted 16 false invoices totaling $920,588.50, supposedly for commercial paper to publish Countdown, a magazine the foundation produced.