Guilty Plea for BMW of Darien Controller Accused of Stealing $1.1 Million

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The former controller of Felix F. Callari Inc., doing business as Continental BMW of Darien, stole more than $1.1 million from the company, according to law enforcement officials.

She pleaded guilty in Federal Court Thursday to one count of wire fraud arising from an embezzlement scheme.

From October 2014 to June 2017, Vanessa Vence-Small, 50, of New Windsor, N.Y. made 65 unauthorized electronic fund transfers, totaling $904,659.29, from the dealership’s bank account to her personal American Express account, according to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut. The announcement is based on court documents and statements made in court.

She also issued and signed 28 checks drawn on the dealership’s bank account, in the total amount of $207,777.78, to pay various third parties, including credit card companies, contractors who performed work at her residence, and a different dealership from which she purchased a car, the announcement said.

On top of all that, she made $31,452.08 in unauthorized credit card charges and reimbursements, according to the announcement.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker, sitting in U.S. District Court in New Haven, Judge scheduled Vence-Small’s sentencing for May 24. She faces a maximum prison term of 20 years, a fine of up to about $2.3 million, and an order of full restitution.

She has been released on a $100,000 bond.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, Darien Police Department and the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force.