Stratford woman admits stealing $1 million from investment firm

A Stratford woman admitted Wednesday, Dec. 12, to embezzling more than $1 million from her Greenwich employer.

According to a release from the office of David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Claire Balducci, 46, pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of wire fraud.

Balducci worked as the office manager for a private investment company based in Greenwich. As office manager, according to court documents and statements made in court, she had access to six business bank accounts, and between about Sept. 2008 and Nov. 2011, Balducci issued “numerous” checks from the firm’s business accounts payable to herself, to “cash” and to third-party vendors.

She deposited the money in her personal bank account.

Balducci also opened a credit card account in the name of the managing partner of the victim company and authorized herself as a co-user of the account. She then made unauthorized charges for personal expenses on the account.

Through these schemes, Fein said, Balducci embezzled approximately $1.1 million.

Balducci is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on March 6, 2013. She faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Following her guilty plea, Balducci was released on a $250,000 bond into home confinement under electronic monitoring by the United States Probation Office.

This investigation has been conducted by the Greenwich Police Department and the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the United States Secret Service; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security; the Internal Revenue Service — Criminal Investigation; the Connecticut State Police; and the Greenwich, Hartford, Shelton and Stamford police.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.

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