Executive, escort indicted as part of $5.8 million scheme

 

A one-time Buffalo Grove business executive and his former escort-turned-girlfriend have been indicted on six counts of wire fraud after they allegedly spent $5.8 million from a suburban company to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Federal prosecutors obtained a grand jury indictment against Scott Kennedy, 43, and Crystal Lundberg, 31, on Tuesday.

Kennedy, 43, worked as a top financial official at Nemera, a drug-delivery device company in Buffalo Grove, when he met Lundberg through Backpage.com, a site that advertises sexual services, records show.

Kennedy first gave Lundberg access to a company credit card in November 2015 after she asked for help buying Christmas gifts for her daughters, authorities said.

Less than a year and a half later, the two had run up unauthorized charges of nearly $5.8 million. Nemera fired Kennedy earlier this year after discovering the fraud in March.

A court filing obtained by the Tribune earlier this month lays out the spending in spectacular fashion, including about $24,000 for movers to haul the woman's potted plants from Illinois to her new 6,500-square-foot mansion in San Diego, where she planned to open a spa -- all with company cash.

Much of the spending came after Lundberg moved with her children, pets and potted plants to San Diego a year ago. The company unknowingly footed the bill for the $12,000-a-month rent at the mansion.

According to an analysis provided by Nemera to the FBI, Lundberg spent some $585,000 on the medical spa, called the Royalty Room.

Among the litany of additional charges allegedly run up mostly by Lundberg were plastic surgery during a stay in Miami; two Rolex watches at a combined cost of $60,000; a personal driver for her daughters at a cost of $8,000 a month; a $2,500-a-month maid; two purebred dogs that cost as much as $6,000; and trips to Bali; France; Costa Rica; Hawaii; Santorini, an island in the Aegean Sea; and Bora Bora and Fiji, both in the South Pacific.

Kennedy has been cooperating with the FBI and told them Lundberg had led him to believe she would eventually reimburse him, a version of events he repeated to the Tribune. Kennedy said Lundberg told him she had been adopted by a wealthy family as a child and had a trust fund in her name worth $4 million that she could access at age 30, according to an FBI warrant.

But the FBI warrant also notes Lundberg's bankruptcy filing in 2009 when she reported only about $100 in a checking account and income of about $200 a month. The bankruptcy filing made no mention of any trust funds, the FBI pointed out.

In a previous phone interview, Kennedy told the Tribune he was looking for love from Lundberg and blamed much of the spending on her. Lundberg’s California-based attorney, Marc Carlos, previously said Kennedy was the one responsible for the fraud.

"He knew what she was. He knew what her past was. Then he's the one who wanted to get in her good graces by giving her gifts," Carlos said. "He's the one who has ... the means, the method, the opportunity and the motive to commit a crime. She doesn't."

Kennedy’s attorney, Sami Azhari, declined to comment for this story. Carlos said the indictment was “not unexpected” and Lundberg will “vigorously defend herself against these charges.”

If convicted, the two will forfeit $5,794,715 and one Rolex “Everose Gold” watch, in addition to possible prison time. Each count carries potentially 20 years.

 

Article From:- http://www.chicagotribune.com

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