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Multiyear sentence sought in ex-Quechee man’s $1.2M business payroll scheme

  • Ryan Wall, left, arrives at U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vt., on Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Glenn Russell photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/5/2020 9:39:25 PM
Modified: 6/5/2020 9:43:21 PM

WEST LEBANON — Federal prosecutors say a 42-year-old former Quechee resident who embezzled $1.2 million from his clients should be sentenced to at least four years in prison, calling the crime “one of the larger fraud cases in local history.”

In a sentencing memorandum filed Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples suggested Ryan Wall receive a prison sentence of four years and three months to five years and three months for the offense.

Wall pleaded guilty in December to one count of wire fraud for pocketing money from clients over a period of six years while he was employed with Twin State Business Services in West Lebanon.

Waples wrote that while Wall should get some credit for accepting responsibility for his crime, the scale of the offense — in both the amount Wall embezzled and the breach of trust with his clients — warrants a long prison sentence.

“This is an exceptionally serious offense,” Waples wrote in the memorandum. “It involves an egregious betrayal of trust, over an extended period of time, by a financial fiduciary.”

He added that the long-term effect on the clients has been severe. Many of the 35 clients Wall worked with owned small businesses, and some ran churches, in the Upper Valley, and some have faced bankruptcy, losing their business and losing their homes in the wake of the crime.

“Victims have had their credit downgraded and have had to alter or abandon retirement plans,” the memorandum said, adding that insurance doesn’t cover many of the victims’ losses.

Waples also argued that Wall hasn’t paid any restitution since he was charged in September 2018, even though he currently works as a design consultant, making an $80,000 salary, according to the memorandum.

The case against Wall stems from a period of time between 2012 and 2018, when Wall ran payroll services for Twin State Business Services, handling payroll taxes for local businesses in the Upper Valley.

During that time, he pocketed money from his clients that was supposed to go to the Internal Revenue Service or state tax departments, prosecutors have said. Wall put the money in an escrow account, which he then used to write himself checks and send “hundreds of thousands” of dollars’ worth of wire transfers to third parties, Waples said during Wall’s plea hearing last year.

TSBS was run by Wall’s in-laws at the time, John and Jacqueline Rezzonico, who fired him after the fraud charges. TSBS filed for bankruptcy protection last year.

During his 2018 arrest, Wall was also charged with related drug and firearms charges, but the state agreed to drop the charges in exchange for his guilty plea on the wire fraud count.

Wall has said he has been sober since September.

David McColgin, the attorney representing Wall, said he will likely file a sentencing memorandum from the defense on Monday.

Wall is currently out on bail and his sentencing is scheduled for June 16.

Prosecutors have previously requested an additional hour reserved for the hearing because many of the victims will want to address Wall or the court.

Anna Merriman can be reached at amerriman@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.




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