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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD



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



JUNE 26, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


LATHROP WOMAN SENTENCED FOR

$190,000 MAIL FRAUD SCHEME


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Lathrop, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for a mail fraud scheme in which she stole nearly $190,000 from her employer.


             Lisa Ann O’Dell, 40, of Lathrop, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner this afternoon to one year and nine months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered O’Dell to pay $189,748 in restitution to Haines & Associates Construction Company in Parkville, Mo.


             On Nov. 21, 2006, O’Dell pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a scheme that lasted from March 24, 2000, to March 25, 2005. O’Dell was employed as the vice president and accountant of Haines & Associates. During that time, she wrote 91 fraudulent checks totaling $189,748 on her employer’s account to pay for her personal credit card bills for such purchases as groceries, gasoline, alcohol, restaurants, home furnishings, movies, and cell phones.


             As part of her job, O’Dell was responsible for processing the company’s bills. She drafted checks drawn on the company’s bank accounts to pay for expenses, then submitted each check to her employers for their signature and mailed them to the company’s creditors. She recorded each expense in the company ledger, which she kept on her work computer.


             As part of her scheme to defraud Haines & Associates, O’Dell either forged the signatures of her employers onto unauthorized checks without their permission, or induced them to sign checks by misrepresenting that they were for legitimate company expenses. In order to conceal the fact that she was writing checks to pay for her personal credit cards, O’Dell made false entries, and deleted other entries altogether, in the company ledger.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel M. Nelson. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.


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