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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 29, 2013

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Former Human Resources Manager Pleads Guilty
In Theft of More Than $400,000 From Employer
-Defendant Worked for Non-Profit Organization-

     WASHINGTON – Brenda Isom, the former human resources manager for a non-profit organization, pled guilty today to a federal charge stemming from the theft of more than $400,000 from her employer, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Isom, 47, of Silver Spring, Md., pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of interstate transportation of stolen property. The Honorable Reggie B. Walton scheduled sentencing for Oct. 25, 2013. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Isom faces a likely range of 30 to 37 months in prison and a fine of up to $60,000. As part of the plea agreement, Isom has agreed to the entry of a forfeiture money judgment against her in the amount of $414,047.

     According to a statement of offense signed by the government and the defendant, Isom was hired in January 2006 as human resources manager for the Leadership Conference Education Fund. The fund is a non-profit that works to promote and protect civil and human rights for people in the United States. Among other duties, Isom was in charge of managing the payroll. Those duties included electronically submitting information to a Maryland-based vendor that handled the processing of payroll payments.

     Soon after taking the job, Isom began submitting information that led to additional and unauthorized payments to herself, which were well in excess of her salary. She also altered reports to conceal and disguise the fraudulently obtained payroll amounts she was receiving.

     From January 2006 through June 2011, Isom received $414,047 in fraudulently obtained payroll amounts from the Leadership Conference Education Fund.

     “Brenda Isom stole $400,000 in charitable funds intended to promote civil rights in our country,” said U.S. Attorney Machen.  “Her crime harmed both the charity and the donors who gave their hard-earned money to support its mission. This case is another example of our continued efforts to prosecute thieves who divert charitable funds for personal gain.”

     In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Criminal Investigators Matthew Kutz and Juan Juarez, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Chris Dobbie, and Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Smith, who is prosecuting the case.

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