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Woman sentenced in Ohio embezzlement case

In 2007, Collaborative Systems Group, an Ohio computer consulting business, hired a woman from a neighboring state to serve as the company's CFO. After nearly three years in that position, the now former CFO is said to have embezzled $1,065,000 from the company during her time there. The 41-year-old woman faced federal embezzlement charges before a U.S. District Court in Ohio. She ultimately decided to agree to a plea arrangement in June of this year and was recently sentenced to prison for 27 months.

Ohio authorities said the woman used some of the money for startup costs on a spa, but that business venture later failed. The remainder of the money was for her personal use and the use of her family members. She purchased personal items with company credit cards and checks. She wired money directly to her accounts and put one of her relatives on the payroll. Court documents indicate she used all of these methods in embezzling the money.

In addition to prison time, the West Virginia woman was ordered to repay all $1,065,000 that she stole from her employer. She is also required to forfeit any items purchased with the embezzled funds. Her prison term is set to begin in Jan. 2014.

When a person is faced with seemingly overwhelming evidence, pleading guilty to a lesser offense or fewer charges could be the best option to achieve the most favorable outcome. In this case, the woman was certainly facing significant prison time if convicted of the crimes with which she was charged. When it comes to a crime such as embezzlement, many people believe there are no victims. However, that is not always the case, so penalties can still be severe depending on the circumstances.

Source: Cincinnati Business Courier, Woman gets prison for embezzling $1M from Cincinnati company, Steve Watkins, Nov. 14, 2013

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