Player Roster: Fraudsters and Investigators

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-06-07 Print this article Print

A who's who of alleged fraud perpetrators and the investigators on their cases.

Greg Abbott

Texas Attorney General
In the more than four years he's served as the chief law enforcement officer of Texas, Greg Abbott has seen his share of white-collar crime. Still, he was surprised at what he termed the "elaborate organized crime scheme" inside the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). "The maze of illicit dealings ... is simply stunning," he said in a department press release.

Kenneth Shoquist
Former Chief Information Officer
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
As ERCOT's senior I.T. executive, Shoquist acted as "the gatekeeper who made the scope of this white-collar crime possible by hiring and enabling the other criminals in the first place," said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Shoquist and his associates at ERCOT allegedly bilked their employers out of more than $2 million, signing off on contracts and invoices for work not done by shadow I.T. vendors. Shoquist has pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 11.

Natarajan R. Venkataram
Former Director of the Medical Examiner's Management Information Systems Department,
New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner
Venkataram and an associate allegedly ran a scheme involving shadow companies and fake contract bids to steal funds sent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to a criminal complaint filed against the two. Lawyers for the two say their clients are not guilty. A trial date has yet to be set.

Paul Champagne
Former Contracts Manager
Canadian Department of National Defence
Champagne allegedly stole more than $100 million from the Canadian government. He acted as DND's point man in dealing with Hewlett-Packard Canada and worked with associates who set up dummy third-party I.T. companies, according to criminal court documents and records HP filed against him in a civil case. Champagne allegedly used a complex billing scheme. He and HP settled their case in December, according to HP. Champagne's lawyer did not return calls seeking comment on the criminal case, and Champagne could not be located.

John J. Motschenbacher
Former Chief Information Officer
Buca, Inc.
Motschenbacher is accused by Buca of taking kickbacks from an outside I.T. vendor. His attorney did not respond to Baseline's calls and e-mails, and he could not be reached.


Denis Desnoyers
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Commercial Crime Section
Desnoyers served as the lead investigator on the alleged billing scheme involving Paul Champagne and several associates. Brought in initially by the DND in 2003, the RCMP investigation team pursued the case for 2 1/2 years.

Stephan Zander
Deputy Inspector General
New York City Department of Investigation
Since March 2000, Zander has been investigating cases at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and The Office of Chief Medical Examiner, and is an investigator in the case involving employees at the medical examiner's office.


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