United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Scott Capps, 48, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania was sentenced to 48 months’ incarceration, three years’ supervised release, restitution of $2,137,580 and forfeiture of $648,600 by United States District Judge Michael M. Baylson for a fraud scheme perpetrated while he was an employee of Vanguard.
On March 14, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to all counts in an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns. According to the indictment, between 2011 and 2014, Capps was an employee of Vanguard, an investment management group that managed trillions of dollars in assets for account holders throughout the world. The defendant admitted that through his employment he had access to dormant accounts that were due for escheatment, which is the process of turning over abandoned funds to the state.
The defendant stole the passwords of subordinates and used those passwords to access the system used to issue checks; he then submitted requests to have checks issued on certain dormant accounts to a co-conspirator. After depositing the checks into his own account, the co-conspirator issued to Capps checks drawn on one of his accounts. The total amount of the funds that the defendant stole exceeded $2.1 million. To Vanguard’s credit, all individual accounts were made whole after the defendant’s crimes were detected. At the guilty plea hearing, Capps also admitted that for the tax years 2013 and 2014, he had filed false tax returns that failed to report the income from his scheme.
“My office takes white collar offenses like wire fraud, tax fraud and money laundering very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “The defendant stole more than two million dollars by abusing his position with his former employer. My Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect innocent individuals and businesses from being victimized by this type of fraud.”
“No matter what the source of income, all income is taxable,” said Guy Ficco, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “Scott Capps failed to report the money he stole and that is a violation of the federal tax laws. Today, justice is served and he is being held accountable for his conduct. The IRS is proud to have shared its hallmark expertise in following the money trail in this and other increasingly sophisticated criminal schemes.”
“Scott Capps saw it as easy money,” said Michael T. Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Amass millions from dormant accounts, launder those funds, and enjoy. But crime truly doesn’t pay and now he’s being held accountable. We and our law enforcement partners would like to thank Vanguard management for their assistance in this matter. Know that the FBI will never let up on those who risk engaging in financial fraud.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Ignall.
Vanguard declined to comment.