A woman who claimed to work 178 hours in a week was convicted Monday of helping defraud a Wauwatosa staffing agency of more than $70,000.
Diana Spiller of Milwaukee participated in a wide-ranging
scheme in which false companies reported non-existent work hours to Argus
Technical Services and other agencies, who paid the wages — sometimes for
months — before wising up.
Following a five-day jury trial in Milwaukee County Court, Spiller was convicted Monday on five counts of conspiracy to commit theft by fraud. She was found not guilty on a sixth count, relating to another Wauwatosa agency that was bilked for $73,000.
According to a criminal complaint, Spiller and three others were involved in a scheme in late 2009 and early 2010. Though each act was slightly different, the general practice was as follows:
Spiller’s mother, Qianna Quartman, would set up a fake company. Sometimes she registered them with the state, sometimes she didn’t bother.
She then would contact a staffing agency and ask for the agency to either provide payroll services for existing “employees” or have her co-conspirators get hired by the agency, who then sent them to the non-existent company.
Spiller, Quartman and co-defendants Lucner Freeman and Rufus Jackson managed to defraud these companies for the following amounts:
- Argus, in Wauwatosa: $70,000
- RSA, in Wauwatosa: $73,000
- SEEK, in Grafton: $11,760
- Manpower, Wauwatosa branch: $3,296.89
- Diversified Personnel Service, Oconomowoc, $51,000
- Spherion, Milwaukee: $30,000
Though successful for a short time, the scheme was not built for track-covering:
- Manpower, which cut off payments after one week, actually hired a private investigator to see if Q&R Trucking was a real business. He went to the listed business address, opened the unlocked door and walked into an empty office.
- Spiller reported working 170 and 178 hours on separate weeks in 2009 — more than the 168 hours that actually exist.
- The registered agent for one of the false companies, Platinum Trucking Inc., was Rufus Jackson’s minor child.
Quartman and Freeman already have pleaded guilty, and Jackson has a plea hearing on Sept. 4.