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FORMER FAYETTEVILLE ACCOUNTANT SENTENCED ON CHARGES OF DEFRAUDING CLIENTS OUT OF MORE THAN $1.5 MILLION



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2012

 






Fayetteville- Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that Kimberly O’Dell, 51, of Fayetteville, Arkansas was sentenced to 108 months imprisonment for wire fraud, money laundering and misuse of Department of Treasury names or symbols. O’Dell, a former Fayetteville accountant, defrauded clients out of more than $1,500,000. O’Dell was a fugitive for nearly 18 months before being arrested on June 15, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

United States Attorney Conner Eldridge commented, “We will continue to prosecute those who commit fraud and abuse positions of trust in order to enrich themselves. In this case, an accountant used her position to defraud clients of a substantial sum of money. This conduct is egregious and she has been held accountable.”

“IRS-Criminal Investigation is committed to unraveling complex financial transactions and money laundering schemes where individuals attempt to conceal the true source of their money," stated Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge for IRS Criminal Investigation – Nashville Field Office. “Our agents are uniquely trained to follow the money trail to reveal violations of federal law involving those that operate in a variety of industries, including public trust positions.”

O’Dell entered a plea of guilty to all counts of the eleven count superseding indictment on September 8, 2011. The superseding indictment filed on May 25, 2011 charged O’Dell with six counts of wire fraud, four counts of money laundering, and one count of misuse of names or symbols related to the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). According to the plea agreement, O’Dell defrauded clients out of a total of $1,561,069.96. In addition, O’Dell fraudulently obtained funds from Thomas Terminella and his company, Terminella & Associates, both of Fayetteville, and from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Chapter of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Specifically, O’Dell transferred money, without authorization, from her clients’ bank accounts to pay her credit card bills and wrote checks from her clients’ bank accounts to herself, her husband, and her accounting firm.

O’Dell was originally arrested on state charges in connection with her unlawful actions and made bond on February 26, 2009. On August 3, 2009, O’Dell failed to appear for trial and a warrant was issued for her arrest. After O’Dell fled the jurisdiction and failed to turn herself in, a federal grand jury indicted O’Dell in November of 2010. O’Dell was located and arrested by federal authorities on June 15, 2011, in New Orleans, Louisiana. After sentencing O’Dell to a term of imprisonment, Chief United States District Court Judge Jim Larry Hendren ordered O’Dell to pay $1,561,069.96 in restitution, $150,000 in fines and to serve 3 years supervised release upon her release from prison.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Department of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Fayetteville Police Department. The Washington County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office also cooperated on this case. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy L. Johnson prosecuted the case for the United States.

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