Guilty pleas entered in Las Vegas embezzlement case

Using audit solutions is important for business success. In order to maintain overall financial health, organizations must know if they are spending their money properly and if fraud may be present.

According to KLAS-TV, Rocco Lazazzaro recently pleaded guilty to charges related to embezzling $5.6 million from Turnberry Associates, a real estate development firm. Lazazzaro committed the crime along with an accomplice, Hope Ippoliti, who served as the company’s controller and pleaded guilty earlier this year. Lazazzaro was not an employee at the firm. Both face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and are required to pay full restitution to Turnberry Associates.

The source explained that the two stole the money by requesting transfers for falsified business purposes. The money was sent to an account which Ippoliti had authority over, and from there, she sent them to a personal account.

Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch explained to the North Bay Business Journal that embezzlement schemes exist along a “continuum of sophistication,” meaning that for every company, the requirements for staying secure are different. For some, simple controls are sufficient, but others need to be much more vigilant. However, this doesn’t mean there is such a thing as an enterprise that isn’t at risk at all.

“Wherever there’s money, there’s vulnerability,” Ravitch pointed out.

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