CHICAGO (CBS) — Scott Kennedy met an escort online and gave her access to his company’s credit card.
He told her his “a– was on the line.”
And within two years, she had allegedly helped him rack up $5.79 million on jewelry, electronics, a chauffeur, a maid, two purebred dogs, travel to luxury hotspots, rent and a spa she wanted to open in San Diego.
Now Kennedy and the escort, Crystal Lundberg, have each been indicted on six counts of wire fraud by a federal grand jury. A 12-page indictment made public Wednesday also alleges that Kennedy falsified his company’s accounting records to make it appear their purchases were business related. Each fraud count carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
Attorneys for the two did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Kennedy was fired from his job at Nemera, a company based in France with offices in Buffalo Grove, back in March, the company said. Until then, the feds say he had been the company’s highest-ranking financial executive. But court records also indicate Kennedy has been cooperating with the FBI for months. The feds said he laid out the whole sordid tale to agents earlier this year.
Kennedy told agents he met Lundberg on backpage.com in 2012 and solicited her services eight to 10 times. In mid-2015, he said she reached out to him by text looking for help with money. By the end of the year, he said Lundberg and her children had moved in with him in Buffalo Grove, bringing their pets along. From there they moved around together until Lundberg moved to San Diego in 2016.
Around the time she first moved in with him, Kennedy said he gave Lundberg access to his company credit card after she asked for help buying Christmas presents for her kids, records show. She claimed she had been adopted by a wealthy family as a child and had a trust fund worth $4 million that would vest when she turned 30. Kennedy told agents he thought he would be reimbursed once she had access to her trust fund, and then he planned to pay his company back.
However, Lundberg filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and never reported the existence of any trust fund, the feds say. Kennedy also acknowledged he never saw any documentation from Lundberg.
Kennedy’s company confronted him about the spending last March, records show. Although Lundberg had made the majority of the purchases, the feds say he admitted making personal charges as well.
Lundberg allegedly bought furniture, spent $8,000 monthly on a personal driver for her kids and a $2,500-per-month maid in San Diego, paid for therapy and prescription drugs, spent $60,000 on two Rolex watches and paid for trips to Bali, France, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Santorini, Bora Bora and Fiji. She even allegedly spent $24,000 to move her potted plants from Illinois to California.
Many of the allegations against the pair are contained in an application for a warrant to seize $36,229 from the checking account of K & K Enterprises, Lundberg’s spa company in California.
The indictment also points to $20,000 spent by the pair at the House of Diamonds in Jamaica, $12,767 spent on a Franz Sandner grand piano for Lundberg’s daughter and a combined $61,000 spent at Royal Maui Jewelers in California.
In a statement, Nemera, which is cooperating with law enforcement, said: “Earlier this year, we became aware of possible improper financial activity by Scott Kennedy, the financial controller at our Buffalo Grove plant, and began an immediate internal investigation. This included the hiring of an independent accounting firm and outside counsel to lead the review. Based on the review, Mr. Kennedy was terminated in March.
“The review showed that Mr. Kennedy abused his authority to unilaterally set up a process that circumvented controls that were in place and victimized the company. Based on recommendations from our independent accounting firm and outside counsel, we have taken steps to protect against a situation like this in the future.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)