United States of America v. Jeffrey Windle et. al.
Accused Harwich Port embezzler Jeffrey S. Windle, 41, (mug shot on right) who is currently being held without bail on suspicion of embezzling money from his former employer, as well as from a local church, has a more complex criminal and financial history than has been previously reported, as revealed in a 118-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court on Thursday, May 22. Mr. Windle faces up to 7 years in federal prison for alleged mail and wire fraud charges. On May 27th, his attorney, John Moscardelli, and Assistant U.S. District Attorney Carmen Ortiz have a meeting to work out a possible plea agreement in return for Jeffrey's help in locating assets to satisfy the plaintiff, Cambium Learning, Inc. Based in Natick, MA, Cambium was Jeffrey's employer from January 2004 until the end of April 2008.
The complaint document details numerous transactions between the bank accounts at Sopris West, a Cambium Learning subsidiary, and various boat dealers and real estate agents. It is also alleged that Mr. Windle stole between $200,000 and $400,000 from the accounts of the South Dennis Congregational Church, where he was volunteer treasurer. (Church is pictured below.) In addition to suspected theft, the new complaint document reveals that Jeffrey apparently
"...also exploited his position as the Treasurer of his church, the Congregational Church of South Dennis (the “Church”), to further his fraudulent scheme. Mr. Windle, who became the treasurer of the Church in 2003, either set up fictitious bank accounts in the Church’s name or used dormant accounts held by the Church at TD [Banknorth].
Mr. Windle then wired or transferred millions of dollars from Cambium to these bank accounts. Mr. Windle withdrew the money in the accounts for his own purposes, including writing several checks to himself....
The Church had no involvement with, or understanding of, Mr. Windle’s actions
with respect to the aforementioned TD accounts; Mr. Windle either arranged for the statements to be mailed directly to his residence at 652 Main Street, Harwichport, MA, or the Church staff simply gave him the unopened statements that had been mailed to the Church."
The church's accounts were involved in the purchase of 3 of Mr. Windle's 5 boats: a 41' Tiara yacht for $162,624, a 41' Albemarle for $680,681, and a 31' Albemarle for $274,203.
Cambium Learning, Inc. , after discovering that Mr. Windle seemed to be implicated in the disappearance of large amounts of money from its accounts, retained the services of two forensic accounting and fraud investigating firms, FTI Consulting and Stroz Friedberg, LLC. The purpose in hiring the firms was to find as many tangible assets as possible which were purchased with Cambium's money and then establish the paper trail from the company's accounts to the assets, in order to prove in a court of law that Cambium should take possession of these assets. Their detailed findings are contained in the recent complaint. The complaint has numerous images of cancelled checks and wire transfer receipts, and recaps Jeffrey's past criminal offenses as well as giving some personal details about his life.
After love, marriage, and a baby: 4 bankruptcies, 3 criminal convictions, and 15 months in federal prison
Born in Worcester, Jeffrey Windle graduated from Wachusett High School in 1985 and from Bentley College in 1989 with a degree in finance (big surprise.)
He has been married to Jeannine Windle since 1994, and they have two children, ages 11 and 8.
In 1993, Jeffrey obtained a $55,000 bank loan after providing false information and forging his parents' signatures as co-signers. He pled guilty to these charges in 1996, a year in which he also pled guilty to other charges of larceny, forgery and stealing two blank checks from his employer and using one as a deposit on a boat.
In 1997, Jeffrey pled guilty to filing false claims for federal income tax refunds and was sentenced to 15 months in a "boot camp" -style federal prison. He was released from federal prison on June 19, 1998, (nearly ten years ago).
Contrary to what I reported previously in this blog, this complaint says that Jeffrey filed for bankruptcy 4 times in 6 years, (not twice, as I had originally reported --sorry, two of them weren't on the report I looked at. ) The dates for the bankruptcy filings are:
6/27/97 Chapter 13
10/7/99 Chapter 7
5/15/02 Chapter 13
2/7/03 Chapter 13
Jeffrey Windle began working for Cambium Learning as a temp in January 2004 and was named Director of Budget and Finance in June 2004. He was authorized to make transfers of money between various company accounts, but not authorized to make wire transfers to outside parties without the approval of his supervisor. Allegedly, he did the transfers anyway and concealed his activities by having the bank statements for the accounts mailed to his address in Harwich Port and making fake spreadsheets showing what was in the accounts to show to his employee, Nancy Young, senior staff accountant at Cambium Learning.
The complaint contains details about the Windle's cars and real estate purchases. Since Jeannine Windle is named as co-owner of the boats, she is a party to the complaint, as is her mother, who is a sucessor trustee.
Jeffrey's case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. District Attorney Carmen Ortiz, of the Economic Crimes Division. She specializes in prosecuting white-collar crime. The FBI agent responsible for the Windle case is Special Agent Sheila Magoon, and the Magistrate Judge who ordered his arrest and also denied him bail is Judith Dein. Jeffrey, you may finally have met your match due to the hard work of these lovely ladies, as well as other law enforcement and court employees.
Dying to read the juicy details of the report? Just email me with "Windle report" in the subject and I'll email the whole thing to you. It's a nearly 5 MB Adobe PDF file that's too big to have on our company's servers. It's mostly NOT dense legalese and is pretty readable; there are also a lot of fluff pages so it's not really a huge chore to read it.
I have received many emails and calls with tips about this case. All are appreciated.
Call or email me: Julie Brooks --508-385-0003 x 106
Past postings related to the Windle case: