Chauffeurs Accused of Swindling Publishing Giant Win McCormack Out of $34 Million in Colossal Heist

A couple who worked as chauffeurs for the renowned publishing giant Win McCormack have been accused of orchestrating a colossal heist, swindling their boss out of a staggering $34 million over the course of seven years. Sergey V. Lebedenko, 53, and his wife, Galina A. Lebedenko, 48, were arrested in Oregon on federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

The alleged scheme involved the couple using McCormack’s American Express credit card to make thousands of fraudulent charges between 2016 and 2023. Prosecutors claim that the Lebedenkos went on a spending spree, purchasing multiple properties, including a $2.3 million residence in Sunriver, Oregon, and a $2 million home in Bermuda Dunes, California. It is even suggested that one of the properties may have been bought for their pastor.

McCormack, a 79-year-old political activist and the founder of Tin House Books, was reportedly unaware of the ongoing theft for years. Although he occasionally noticed red flags on his bank statements, he did not act upon his suspicions until late last year. The criminal complaint obtained by The Daily Beast did not explicitly identify McCormack as the victim, but his attorney confirmed his involvement.

The Lebedenkos were initially hired as drivers for McCormack in 2006 through their chauffeur service, Asrta Limousine and Town Car Service. However, their relationship with McCormack evolved over time, with Sergey Lebedenko eventually becoming a personal handyman and assistant to the publishing giant. As their bond grew, the couple allegedly took advantage of their position, gradually increasing their charges and gifting themselves millions.

Prosecutors revealed that the couple charged an astonishing $9 million to McCormack’s card in 2019 alone. When they were apprehended this week, authorities discovered an “eye-watering” amount of money at their Portland home, including $100,000 in cash, 150 ounces of gold bullion worth approximately $300,000, and 12 firearms.

The criminal complaint outlined several confrontations between McCormack and Sergey Lebedenko regarding unauthorized charges on the credit card. Despite warnings and threats of termination, the charges continued to accumulate. Eventually, McCormack turned to the FBI, providing evidence of the alleged fraud. Agents delved deeper into the matter, uncovering a jaw-dropping total of $34 million spent by the Lebedenkos between 2016 and 2023.

During their initial court appearance, a judge approved the couple’s release under the condition of GPS monitoring. They have also been prohibited from air travel, leaving Oregon, and making any transactions over $10,000 without pretrial authorities’ approval.

This shocking case of betrayal and financial deception has left McCormack astounded and feeling taken advantage of. The loss he has suffered is beyond anything he could have imagined. As the legal proceedings unfold, the full extent of the alleged heist will be revealed, shedding light on the audacity and cunning of the accused couple.

Author: CrimeDoor

2 Responses

  1. Wow, what a shocking story! It’s unfortunate to hear about such a betrayal. Reading about this incident has made me reflect on the importance of trust and integrity in the workplace.

    In light of this, my personal goal is to always prioritize honesty and ethical behavior in my own professional life. I want to ensure that I maintain a strong moral compass and never succumb to the temptation of dishonesty or deceit. Trust is the foundation of any successful working relationship, and I believe that it is crucial to

  2. 1. Implement strict financial controls: To prevent such heists, it is crucial for businesses to establish robust financial controls. This includes segregating duties, implementing regular audits, and conducting thorough background checks on employees who handle sensitive financial information.

    2. Regularly review financial statements: Business owners should regularly review financial statements and bank records to detect any irregularities or discrepancies. This can help identify any suspicious activities and prevent long-term embezzlement schemes.

    3. Encourage anonymous reporting: Establish a system

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