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Paducah office manager guilty of embezzling from employer

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 PADUCAH – The office manager for Utilities Dynamics, Inc. entered a guilty plea today in United States District Court before Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell to charges of wire fraud and identity theft as part of a scheme to defraud the company of over $700,000 announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman.

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 at least $700,000 during an eight-year period.

According to the plea agreement, Roberts acknowledged that beginning in June of 2009 and continuing until October of 2016, while office manager for Utilities Dynamics, Inc. (“the Company”), 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 both her own company credit cards and the company credit card of another employee for unauthorized purchases for the benefit of herself and her family.  Roberts would also use company funds to pay off 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.

At sentencing, Roberts could receive up to 22 years in prison, fined up to $500,000, and be required to serve up to three years of supervised release.

Roberts remains free on bond, with sentencing scheduled before Senior Judge Russell on January 31, 2017 at 12:15 pm in Paducah.   

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