Feds Charge Joliet Bookkeeper With Million-Dollar Credit Card Swindle

he Joliet woman was working for a St. Charles businessman.

A Joliet bookkeeper and the St. Charles businessman she worked for face federal fraud charges for allegedly cheating credit card companies out of more than $1 million and dodging income tax obligations in excess of $1.5 million, officials said.

Adelina Miguel, 37, of Joliet and Viet Nguyen, 41, of St. Charles face a count each of wire fraud and tax evasion. They are set to be arraigned in federal court Thursday.

Nguyen "owned and operated various companies, including Expedite Media Group, Inc., VB Management Holding Company, Inc., and Pure Small Business, Inc., which provided internet marketing and internet technology services such as website development and mass marketing through emails," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Miguel worked as his office manager and bookkeeper, the feds said, and managed payroll, handled credit card charges, and issued tax forms to employees.

According to a federal indictment, between 2008 and March 2012, Nguyen and Miguel allegedly swindled customers, credit card companies and banks by fraudulently charging customers’ credit and debit cards and bank accounts for services that were not provided.

"Nguyen directed Miguel and other staff to make fraudulent charges to meet daily sales quotas that he set and he and Miguel knew could not be met without fraudulently charging for services that were not provided," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. "As part of the scheme, Nguyen allegedly opened new companies so that he could fraudulently obtain new merchant accounts. There were so many customer complaints about fraudulent charges that Nguyen’s merchant accounts were frequently cancelled, and Nguyen incorporated new companies to get around that problem, the indictment alleges."

Since the federal income tax obligations for the various companies flowed through Nguyen’s personal tax returns, he was charged with tax evasion for allegedly filing false returns for 2009 that underreported his income, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney. Miguel was charged with tax evasion or allegedly filing a false return for 2009 that underreported her income.

"Among other things, Nguyen and Miguel allegedly caused the companies to pay their personal expenses, including Nguyen’s payments for a Rolls Royce, Bentley, Hummer, Ferrari, Land Rover, two Audis and other autos, as well as mortgage payments, cash withdrawals, credit card charges, skating lessons, dental bills, utilities, and property taxes," the statement said. "Nguyen directed Miguel to enter payments for personal expenses as business expenses in the companies’ ledgers to avoid reporting the payments as personal income on their tax returns, the indictment alleges."

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