Hampstead Woman Indicted for Embezzling Over $275,000 from Her Employer

April 5, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury indicted Sandra Iris Klaus, age 46, of Hampstead, Maryland, today for mail fraud in connection with a scheme to steal $275,456 from her employer.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the 12 count indictment, from March 2005 to March 2011 Klaus was employed by a roofing and sheet metal company located in Westminster, Maryland as an administrative assistant and bookkeeper. Klaus was responsible for preparing and submitting the employee weekly payroll and issuing checks to pay vendors. From January 2007 to March 23, 2011, Klaus allegedly diverted company funds to pay her personal credit card bills, and caused fraudulent payrolls checks to be issued to a fictitious employee, which Klaus then endorsed and cashed. Klaus allegedly used a rubber stamp with the name of an authorized company signatory printed on it to sign the company checks for her personal benefit. Klaus is also alleged to have inserted her name as payee on checks that were signed by an authorized person and given to Klaus to make payments for the business.

In an effort to conceal the scheme, the indictment further alleges that Klaus made entries into the company’s accounting software system to disguise checks she sent from the company’s bank account to pay her credit card bills as payments to legitimate vendors. Klaus also is alleged to have secretly set up a connection from her personal home computer to the company computer server so that she could make fraudulent entries into the company’s accounting system from home.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of $275,456.43, at least $132,905.88 of which is alleged to have been transferred to Klaus using fraudulently issued payroll checks; and at least $142,550.55 which Klaus allegedly transferred directly from the company bank accounts to make payments on her behalf.

Klaus faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of 12 counts of mail fraud. Klaus is scheduled to have an initial appearance and arraignment in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Gregory R. Bockin, who is prosecuting the case.

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