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Paducah office manager sentenced for embezzlement

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Ordered to pay $747,455.30 in restitution

  PADUCAH – The office manager for Utilities Dynamics, Inc. was sentenced to 65 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution, by Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell, in United States District Court today, for wire fraud and identity theft as part of a scheme to defraud the company of $747,455.30 announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Insider theft from private employers happens all too often – with losses that affect hiring, pay, and often solvency of the entire company,” stated United States Attorney Russell Coleman. “Anyone who believes this will go unnoticed, should look at the fate of Ms. Roberts who will spend more than five years in prison and must return every stolen dime.”

Kristen Renee Roberts, 39, of Calvert City, Kentucky, was charged in a criminal Information with one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft as part of a scheme to defraud her employer of over $700,000 during an eight year period.

Roberts pleaded guilty and acknowledged that beginning in June of 2009 and continuing until October of 2017, while office manager for Utilities Dynamics, Inc., she was responsible for all of the Company’s accounts payable, accounts receivable, employee payroll, QuickBooks functions, and banking requirements. She also had access to the Company’s company credit cards and banking account information.

Roberts admitted to using the company credit cards for unauthorized purchases for the benefit of herself and her family. Further, Roberts admitted to making unauthorized purchases with company credit cards that were in her own name and to using the company credit card of K.B., without K.B.’s knowledge or authorization. Roberts knew she did not have authority to use K.B.’s credit card but did so with the intent to defraud both K.B. and the Company.

Roberts also admitted to electronically debiting the bank account of the Company in order to make payments on her own personal credit cards and the personal credit cards of her family.

Finally, because Roberts controlled the Company’s payroll, she also was able to overpay herself using direct deposits from the Company’s bank account into her personal bank account. Roberts would conceal these overpayments to herself by creating fake payroll payments to other employees within the Company and then deposit that money into her own account.  She would also conceal these overpayments by creating fake invoices within the Company’s QuickBooks accounting software to various vendors used by the Company where the payments to these vendors were actually payments into her personal bank account.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nute Bonner and was investigated by the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office.