A former business executive created a lavish lifestyle for an escort-turned-girlfriend, using his company's expense account, using $5.8 million to fund trips around the world and to move her into a mansion.
Scott Kennedy was a top financial executive at Nemera, a drug delivery device company, when he met Crystal Lundberg on Backpage.com, a site advertising sexual services. In November 2015, he gave Lundberg a Nemera company credit card. In only a year and a half, they charged $5.8 million to the card, all without authorization, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The FBI search warrant affidavit, which the Tribune obtained last summer, listed the extravagant spending, which started in earnest after the 43-year-old Kennedy moved Lundberg, her children and pets to a San Diego mansion in 2016. Nemera ended up paying $12,000 a month for rent.
Kennedy agreed to plead guilty and get a lighter sentence in exchange for his cooperation in the case against Lundberg. According to federal guidelines, he should be sentenced for up to six and a half years, but prosecutors agreed to recommend three and a half instead.
Lundeberg was also charged with wire fraud. Her attorney said she might consider a plea after Kennedy entered his.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Kennedy's sentencing hearing is set for May 16.
Here's a look at the lavish lifestyle Kennedy and Lundberg led.
According to federal authorities, Kennedy and Lundberg first met in 2012 on backpage.com. Kennedy told the FBI he paid for her services between eight and 10 times. In mid-2015, she first started asking him about financial help.
At the end of the year, he allowed her to move into his Buffalo Grove, Illinois home. They then moved to San Diego the following year. According to the court filing obtained by the Tribune in August 2017, part of the move included spending $24,000 to move her potted plants from Illinois to California.
"I'm the only person who has to answer for being stupid," Kennedy told the Tribune in August.
Lundberg picked a mansion for her new life in San Diego. According to authorities, they moved into a mansion with $12,000-a-month rent.
Kennedy told authorities Lundberg said she would reimburse him. She said she would have access to a $4 million trust fund when she turned 30 because her adoptive family was wealthy. But the FBI said this was a lie. She filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
After they moved to San Diego, the expenses began skyrocketing. According to documents, Kennedy used the company credit card to help Lundberg open a $585,000 medical spa called the Royalty Room.
The Tribune reported that Lundberg was first referred to as the president of K&K Enterprises in the court filing obtained last summer. The filing was sealed in May, and available publicly in August.
According to the court documents, Kennedy and Lundberg bought two Rolexes worth a combined $60,000. Kennedy told the Tribune he was so easily tricked by Lundberg because he wanted to start a family.
"I wanted to be loved and cared for. My heart kind of overrid my head and said, 'Take a chance,'" he told the Tribune. "Well, it blew up in my face."
One of the outrageous expenditures was $8,000-a-month on a personal driver for her kids. Lundberg also used Kennedy's company card on therapy, prescription drugs and furniture.
Kennedy was a financial executive at Nemera, a France-based company with an American office in Buffalo Grove. The company fired him in March 2017 following their own internal investigation. The company has been cooperative with the FBI.
Lundberg also allegedly bought two purebred dogs, costing $6,000. According to Rover.com, many purebred dog species cost more than $1,000. A purebred Rottweiler can cost between $2,000 and $8,000.
"My mistake was trusting her," Kennedy told the Tribune. "At this point, I have very little faith anything she told me ever was true."
Lundberg allegedly spent $2,500 a month for a maid in San Diego.
According to the court filing, Kennedy first gave Lundberg the company card in November 2015. The first things she bought were Christmas gifts for her children. Sixteen months later, they had spent $5.79 million on the company credit card.
Lundberg and Kennedy took trips around the world, and she documented many of the trips on social media. Authorities say they went to France, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Fiji and Bora Bora, reports the Daily Mail. In March 2017, Kennedy was on a trip to Fiji when Lundberg texted him about "seriously freaking out" because she just signed a five-year lease for $24,000-a-month.
"I'm going to have to start selling myself again," Lundberg texted him. "I was so close to (being) financially free. And u miss using ur Corp card scares the (expletive) out of me."
Kennedy was still under the belief that Lundberg's father had money, but she told him not to "sell yourself," adding, "We will find a way."
In May, after prosecutors in Chicago first filed a warrant to seize Lundberg's checking account, FBI officers raided the San Diego mansion. They seized a Jaguar car and a white grand piano.
There was also an estate sale at the time, claiming there would be over $250,000 worth in goods up for sale. "Unexpected move for Chicago Heiress with Designer EVERYTHING!" was the headline, reports the Tribune.
In August, Lundberg's lawyer, Marc Carlos, told the Tribune that the lavish spending was not her fault. He said the idea Lundberg duped Kennedy was not correct.
"He knew what she was. He knew what her past was. Then he's the one who wanted to get in her good graces by giving her gifts," Carlos told the Tribune. "He's the one who has … the means, the method, the opportunity and the motive to commit a crime. She doesn't."
Carlos continued, "He needs to do something to lessen his liability, and by saying he's a victim of the, whatever it is, psycho-sexual control this woman has over him is his only out... It's the only way he's going to be able to reduce his criminal liability, but it's ridiculous."1comments
Lundberg was in court on Wednesday, and her attorney said she will "consider her options" after Kennedy put in the guilty plea.