Thursday, February 13, 2014

Michigan Man Indicted For Embezzling More Than $2.3 Million From Vineyards Development Corp. In Naples

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is sharing this news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida:

FORT MYERS - United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Alfred W. Lenz (68, Montague, Michigan) with three counts of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count. The indictment also notifies Lenz that the United States intends to forfeit a house in Montague, Michigan, and the contents of a Charles Schwab Retirement Account, which are alleged to be traceable to proceeds of the offenses. In addition, the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $2,380,465.11, the proceeds of the wire fraud scheme.

According to the indictment, Lenz was the Controller for the Vineyards Development Corporation (VDC) in Naples, Florida, from March 31, 2005 until April 27, 2012. Between January 11, 2007 and December 9, 2010, while employed as VDC Controller, Lenz allegedly embezzled $2,380,465.11 from VDC. He used the money to buy real estate and for other personal expenses. Lenz used his position to hide eighty-seven $24,000 check payments, totaling $2,088,000, to an account which he controlled. Lenz made false entries in the VDC books and concealed the true nature of these check payments. He also caused seven wire transfers, totaling $292,465.11, to be sent from VDC’s bank account, into a bank account that he controlled.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Economic Crimes Unit, with assistance from the Office of the State Attorney, Twentieth Judicial Circuit. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David G. Lazarus.
MEDIA CONTACT: William Daniels, 813.274.6388