SOUTHINGTON Couple, CPA face charges in fraud case

The couple used an inflated bank balance to pay creditors, authorities say.
CLEVELAND -- A Southington couple has been charged with conspiracy and a total of 43 counts of bank fraud in a $1.2 million checking scheme at a Warren trucking business, and an accountant is charged with aiding and abetting.
Sandra N. Clark, 46, president and secretary-treasurer of Autumn Industries Inc., and her husband, Michael T. Carney, 59, the company's vice president, were charged with one conspiracy count each, accused of lying to the FBI about their involvement in the scheme and failing to turn over records subpoenaed by a grand jury.
Charged with one count of aiding and abetting bank fraud is Tami J. Steele, 38, of Perkinswood Boulevard, Warren, a certified public accountant. She was controller of the firm, which transports raw material and hazardous wastes.
The defendants are charged with scheming between March 23 and June 28, 2001, to write worthless checks on the company's Cortland Bank account and deposit them in the company's Bank One account.
Carney and Clark, who both live on U.S. Route 422, used the inflated balance at Bank One to pay Autumn Industries creditors, federal authorities say.
By the time Cortland Bank discovered the scheme and closed the company's account June 28, 2001, Bank One had lost $1,249,031, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland.