BOOKKEEPER PLEADS GUILTY TO 196 COUNT FRAUD INDICTMENT
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Barbara A. Abraham, 38, of Destin, pled guilty in federal court this afternoon to 196 fraud related charges, announced United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh, Northern District of Florida.
Abraham, while acting as the bookkeeper for Hart Dynamics, Inc. in Destin, forged company checks over an almost eight year span totaling approximately $1 million. She wrote these checks payable to herself and her creditors. As she was the bookkeeper for the business, Abraham was able to cover her fraud from others by falsifying book entries. Though her true salary for the company never exceeded $20,000 per year, hundreds of thousands of dollars were deposited and withdrawn through her personal bank account. Each one of these transactions constituted a violation of the federal statute prohibiting wire fraud.
During the same time frame, Abraham filed false income tax returns to hide the fraud. Specifically, she failed to report between $800,000 and $1 million in income stolen from the company. As such, she pled guilty to criminal tax charges along with the wire fraud charges. Because she forged the signature of the company president on all checks, Abraham also pled guilty to aggravated identity theft.
Abraham will likely be sentenced by United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in April 2011. She faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment on each wire fraud count, up to 3 years’ imprisonment on each tax count, and 2 years mandatory imprisonment on the aggravated identity theft count. In addition to imprisonment, Abraham faces restitution, fines and court costs.
U.S. Attorney Marsh praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg.