Hartford woman pleads guilty; wire fraud, money laundering

A Hartford woman pleaded guilty on Thursday, Sept. 1 to executing a multi-million-dollar wire fraud and money laundering scheme.

Vicki Berka, 61, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering for embezzling approximately $2.7 million from her former employer, Bader Rutter & Associates.

According to the plea agreement, Berka admitted to engaging in a scheme to defraud Bader from July 2014 through approximately Sept. 26, 2017. A news release says Berka used her position as Chief Financial Officer and her bank account login credentials to make unauthorized ACH transfers from Bader’s health funding account to a bank account she controlled. Berka then falsified Bader’s general ledger by inflating the company’s reported healthcare expenditures to hide the amount of money she was embezzling, the release says. Berka used over $250,000 in stolen proceeds to buy a beach condo in North Carolina. 

SIGN UP TODAY: Get daily headlines, breaking news emails from FOX6 News

Berka faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud count, and ten years in prison for the money laundering count. Berka also faces fines of up to $250,000 per count and has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $2.7 million to Bader and its insurance company. 

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 1.