Darien woman charged with embezzling $800K from veterans services fund

The Hour Newspapers Police Beat
The Hour Newspapers Police Beat

DARIEN — A federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a 10-count indictment against a Darien woman for allegedly embezzling approximately $800,000 from a Connecticut-based veterans services organization.

Cynthia Tanner, 53 is facing fraud and tax evasion offenses stemming from her alleged embezzlement while employed as a bookkeeper for the National Veterans Service Fund (NVSF) located in Darien.

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut said the stated mission of the NVSF is to provide "case managed social services and limited medical assistance to Vietnam and Persian Gulf War veterans and their families, with a focus on families with disabled children."

As alleged in the indictment, from approximately January 2009 through June 2014, Tanner used approximately $800,000 in NVSF funds to pay various personal expenses for her and her family members.

She also altered records to conceal her scheme and by falsely claiming that the stolen monies were being paid to veterans in need.

The indictment further alleges that Tanner failed to report $794,768.47 in embezzled income on her 2009 through 2013 federal tax returns, resulting in a tax loss of $270,026.

The indictment charges Tanner with five counts of wire fraud, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count, and five counts of tax evasion, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on each count.

Tanner has been detained on related state charges since her arrest on June 2, 2014.

U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt and that charges are only allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is assigned to Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton in Bridgeport.

The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division and the Darien police department.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.