GRANITE CITY WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLING ALMOST ONE MILLION DOLLARS
Flora Buckingham, 70, of Granite City, Ill., pled guilty today to mail fraud in federal court, in East St. Louis, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced. Buckingham faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, a special assessment of $100, and supervised release of 3 years.
Buckingham was the office manager at Ahmad and Rana Pediatrics, LTD, in Granite City, Illinois. From May 2004 to November 2010, Buckingham embezzled from the office by writing third party checks to pay her credit card while disguising these payments as legitimate expenses in the office’s ledgers. Under the plea agreement, Buckingham is required to pay restitution to Ahmad and Rana Pediatrics in the amount of $921,041.74 and is prohibited from transferring or encumbering her home prior to entry of the restitution order. Further, the judge ordered that Buckingham is prohibited from gambling or entering gambling establishments prior to her sentencing. Buckingham’s sentencing is scheduled for January 3, 2012, in East St. Louis.
The guilty plea follows an investigation by the United States Secret Service and the Granite City Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin F. Burke.