Analyst Steals Millions by Spoofing Director

A trading analyst from Maine has admitted to stealing millions of dollars by impersonating a company director to authorize transactions fraudulently.

David Altenburg accessed his employer's bank accounts to complete approximately 106 wire transfers and other withdrawals. Acting United States attorney, Donald E. Clark, said that between February 2019 and September 2020, Altenburg stole over $2.7 million by diverting funds into accounts under his control. 

To avoid arousing any suspicion when making the transfers, Altenburg impersonated a director at the firm where he worked by using that individual's name and email address. 

Court documents revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant of Altenburg's address in Bath, Maine, on October 15, 2020. Two BMWs, an Infiniti, and a Mercedes were seized during the search and Altenburg was arrested without incident. 

Special FBI Agent Kevin M. McCusker wrote, in a criminal complaint filed against Altenburg, that the trader analyst and his wife had spent the illegally obtained funds "in large part on (1) expensive jewelry, watches and clothing; (2) lavish leisure travel and restaurants; (3) vehicles; (4) debt payments; and (5) the funding of at least one brokerage account."

One of the largest expenditures made by the couple was to the Royal Princess, where they spent $26,553.95 on jewelry, amenity charges, and gambling in the casino while taking a cruise between Mexico and Los Angeles in 2020. 

Other significant purchases by the couple that the FBI flagged included two charges of nearly $16,000 each for clothing and other items from Gucci in New York, New York, and Yves Saint Laurent in Beverley Hills, California. 

After learning he was under investigation, Clark added that Altenburg tried to prevent his residence from being seized by transferring its title to a trust managed by his wife.

On June 24 in federal court, Altenburg pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, seven counts of money laundering, one count of transferring property to prevent seizure, and one count of aggravated identity theft. 

Altenburg faces a maximum sentence of 57 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1.5 million. He will also be ordered to pay restitution.  

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