BOSTON – A Canton woman was sentenced yesterday in connection with two fraud and embezzlement schemes that netted more than $1.4 million from her non-profit employers.
Nicole Lescarbeau, a/k/a “Nicole Coulibaly,” 53, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to six years in prison, five years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution.
In December 2019, Lescarbeau pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with an embezzlement scheme. In December 2020, Lescarbeau was charged again with a separate embezzlement scheme and agreed to plead guilty on May 3, 2021 to wire fraud and bank fraud.
From August 2013 until her termination in January 2018, Lescarbeau stole funds from her employer, a Boston-based non-profit, for her personal use. Specifically, Lescarbeau wrote unauthorized checks to herself using the non-profit’s accounting software and affixed the signatures of the authorized signers on the account. In addition, Lescarbeau repeatedly logged on to the non-profit’s online bank accounts and directed unauthorized payments and transfers for her personal benefit. Lescarbeau also made unauthorized personal charges using the non-profit’s business credit cards. In total, Lescarbeau embezzled more than $1.3 million from the non-profit organization.
While out on pre-trial release for the prior case, Lescarbeau was hired as an administrator at a small, Brookline-based non-profit organization. Lescarbeau did not tell the non-profit about her pending indictment and applied for the position using her married name in an effort to conceal the prior charges. From August 2019 until February 2020, Lescarbeau used her position to steal funds from the non-profit for her personal use by diverting checks to herself that the non-profit had issued for legitimate business and depositing them into her personal bank account. Lescarbeau also opened a PayPal account in the non-profit’s name to make unauthorized wire transfers from the non-profit’s bank account and made transfers directly from the non-profit’s bank account to pay for her personal rent. In total, as a result of this scheme, Lescarbeau embezzled nearly $57,000 from the non-profit’s bank account.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement. Assistant United States Attorney Justin D. O’Connell of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.