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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



MARCH 22, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


NEVADA WOMAN SENTENCED FOR EMBEZZLING

$421,000 FROM FURNITURE COMPANY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Nevada, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for embezzling $421,000 from her employer, a furniture manufacturer.


             Kathleen L. Edwards, 46, of Nevada, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey this afternoon to two years and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Edwards to pay $421,000 in restitution.


             On Nov. 9, 2006, Edwards pleaded guilty to embezzling $421,000 from F.C. Grace Furniture, Inc., in Kidder, Mo., while employed as the company’s part-time bookkeeper between June 3, 2004, and Jan. 13, 2006. During that 19-month period, Edwards wrote 79 unauthorized checks made payable to herself, which were deposited into her personal checking account. Edwards created a photocopy signature template of an authorized signature, which she used on all of the fraudulent checks. In order to cover up the embezzlement of funds, she created false bookkeeping entries in the company’s check register denoting fictitious vendor payments corresponding to the amounts she unlawfully embezzled.


             Edwards resigned from her position in February 2006. Following her departure, the company’s accountant conducted an analysis of the company bank records and discovered numerous unauthorized payments made to Edwards.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Michael Warner. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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