Man testifies against escort who allegedly spent millions on his corporate card
In court Wednesday, a prosecutor asked Scott Kennedy, bluntly, “Were you in love with Ms. Lundberg?” He replied, “yes.”
By late 2015, Scott Kennedy said, his personal finances were in “tatters.”
The high-ranking, formerly married financial executive brought home around $200,000 a year. But he had also repeatedly hired an escort he’d met online named Crystal Lundberg. Eventually, he let Lundberg and her daughters move in with him.
Kennedy hoped they’d start a family together in the northwest suburbs.
But soon, Kennedy’s personal credit card balances had ballooned to $27,000. Then $41,000. Finally, he said Lundberg asked if she could use his corporate credit card to give her daughters a big Christmas. He told her “absolutely not.” Then, he gave in.
“I physically handed it to her and told her we have to pay this back,” Kennedy told a jury Wednesday. He explained, “I was trying to be a provider for my family.”
Together, Kennedy and Lundberg would allegedly rack up $5.79 million in charges on an account belonging to Nemera, a drug device company with a plant in Buffalo Grove. And now, Kennedy has become the star witness against Lundberg, who is on trial for wire fraud at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
Nemera caught the pair in 2017, and the feds filed charges later that year. Kennedy quickly began to cooperate and pleaded guilty to wire fraud early in 2018. He admitted Wednesday to the brazen scam, acknowledging he forged records while working at Nemera to cover it up. He even said he’d double-billed the company in the past. He still faces sentencing.
But jurors looked most exasperated when Kennedy described how he let Lundberg take advantage of him — repeatedly — amid soaring credit card balances and Lundberg’s seemingly deceptive behavior. He said he didn’t take the card back from Lundberg because he wanted to care for, and satisfy, the woman he hoped would become his wife. She eventually left for California.
Lundberg has been accused in court records of using the corporate card to spend $8,000 monthly on a personal driver for her kids and $2,500 a month on a maid in San Diego, where she moved. She also allegedly paid for therapy and prescription drugs, spent $60,000 on two Rolex watches and paid for trips to Bali, France, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Santorini, Bora Bora and Fiji. Lundberg even allegedly spent $24,000 to move her potted plans from Illinois to California.
Kennedy said Lundberg told him she had a $4 million trust fund that would vest when she turned 30, and the couple planned to pay Nemera back with that money. Though she allegedly told him her adopted father had been an insurance executive who revolutionized the industry, Kennedy never met him. Still, he sent personal tax documents to Lundberg, supposedly to deliver to her father.
“I trusted Crystal,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kennedy said he had begun to feel “scared” and “nervous” and suffered “all sorts of anxiety” about his fraud. He said he checked into a hospital for suicidal thoughts in June 2016 and then called Lundberg to tell her about it. Later, on the phone, he said she told him, “I want my Superman back.”
Kennedy said he asked Lundberg to bring his diabetes medicine to the hospital. She never did, allegedly claiming she became hospitalized herself for kidney stones. Kennedy later discovered a ticket to the NBA Finals from that same time period, and Lundberg allegedly told him she’d taken her nephew there for his birthday.
Kennedy began to confront Lundberg about the spending, telling her in one email, “I feel like I am not being heard or believed, just used.”
In court Wednesday, a prosecutor finally asked Kennedy, bluntly, “Were you in love with Ms. Lundberg?”
He replied, “yes.”