Schererville woman admits embezzling more than $650,000
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org January 4, 2013 11:34AM
Updated: February 6, 2013 6:08AM
A Schererville woman has agreed to pay more than $840,000 as part of a deal to plead guilty to embezzling from her former employer, Ticor Title Insurance.
According to a plea agreement filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, Laurie M. Brezinski faces up to 10 years on the two counts, one each of embezzling more than $5,000 from a business and filing a false income tax return.
In exchange, nine other embezzling and false income tax return counts will be dropped. Brezinski was charged in April with writing herself seven checks from August 2003 to October 2008 from Ticor’s accounts.
The company had filed a civil lawsuit against her in 2009, saying she had worked for the company for 16 years, most recently at its Crown Point office in a position that gave her access to money in trust and escrow accounts.
She wrote some of the checks to her parents, forging their signatures, and other checks to different banks, where she would use the money to pay off credit card accounts, according to the lawsuit. Brezinski, who was fired in 2008, was ordered in that case to pay Ticor $796,000.
The plea agreement would set another restitution order against her, with $659,049 to go to Ticor. Another $182,775 will go to the federal government to pay off tax losses because of her crime. That money does not include anything she owes to the IRS, which handles its own restitution cases.
Brezinski’s change of plea hearing has been set for Jan. 10.