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Ex-Quechee man asks to delay sentence in payroll embezzlement case, citing virus outbreak

  • 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: 8/7/2020 9:38:59 PM
Modified: 8/7/2020 9:38:48 PM

RUTLAND — A former Quechee resident who admitted to defrauding his payroll and tax firm clients out of $1.2 million is asking a judge to delay his sentence due to an outbreak of COVID-19 at the federal prison in Miami where he is to serve his time.

Ryan Wall filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Rutland through his attorney Thursday asking that the 51-month sentence, which he is supposed to start serving in September, be pushed back to December. U.S. Attorney Greg Waples, who prosecuted Wall’s case, did not oppose the request, according to the motion.

Wall has been out on conditions since May 2019, and has been living in Florida in that time. In December, he pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for pocketing money from clients over a period of six years while he was working at Twin State Business Services in West Lebanon.

In June, he was sentenced to more than four years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $500,000 in restitution to his victims. Judge Geoffrey Crawford ordered Wall to serve out his sentence in federal prison in Florida.

However, in the motion this week Wall’s attorney, David McColgin wrote that Florida has seen a substantial coronavirus outbreak, which has made its way inside FCI Miami, where Wall is scheduled to serve his sentence. As of Thursday, 108 inmates at FCI Miami had tested positive for the virus, according to the motion.

“Mr. Wall is understandably terrified of surrendering to a facility that is currently such a petri dish of festering coronavirus,” McColgin wrote, adding that the federal prison “does not need more inmates” in the middle of a health crisis.

McColgin also wrote that Wall has shown “model performance” while out of prison and that he’s paid $12,500 toward the restitution he owes his victims.

“There is no urgency regarding his surrender date, and no reason to endanger his health by having him surrender while COVID-19 is still racing through FCI Miami,” McColgin wrote.

The prison is a “low-security federal correctional institution with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp” housing a total of 1,018 inmates, according to its webpage.

Wall’s case stems from a series of crimes prosecutors said he committed between 2012 and 2018, while he was running payroll services for TSBS.

Prosecutors have said that during that time, he stole money from his clients that was supposed to go to the Internal Revenue Service or state tax departments and put it in an escrow account. He then wrote checks to himself and sent “hundreds of thousands” of dollars’ worth of wire transfers to third parties, Waples has said.

He used some of the money to support a drug addiction, Wall has said in court. He checked himself into a rehab facility in late 2018 and has been sober ever since, he has said.

TSBS was started by Wall’s former in-laws, John and Jacqueline Rezzonico in 1997. Their daughter Vanessa, who is now divorced from Wall, also worked there.

In the Thursday motion, McColgin wrote that Wall may request an additional delay on his prison sentence if the pandemic has not subsided by December. A judge has not ruled on the motion.

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

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