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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


SEPTEMBER 27, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SENECA HUSBAND, WIFE SENTENCED FOR $200,000 EMBEZZLEMENT, MONEY LAUNDERING


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Seneca, Mo., couple was sentenced in federal court today for money laundering related to their embezzlement of nearly $200,000 from a Noel, Mo., car dealer.


             William F. Williams, 56, and Victoria L. Williams, 50, both of Seneca, were each sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr., this morning to 21 months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered the Williams to pay $196,361 in restitution to Hendren Chevrolet-Pontiac in Noel.


             On May 15, 2007, the Williams each pleaded guilty to money laundering. They admitted that they embezzled at least $196,361 from their employer, Hendren Chevrolet-Pontiac, between July 1997 and August 2001. William Williams was employed as the dealership sales manager for Hendren Chevrolet-Pontiac from 1989 until 2001. Victoria Williams was employed as the office manager and bookkeeper at Hendren Chevrolet-Pontiac during that time.


             William and Victoria Williams intercepted checks made payable to Hendren and used the proceeds for their personal benefit. The Williams admitted that they deposited checks made payable to Hendren into their personal bank account. Victoria Williams also embezzled money from Hendren by writing checks payable to different vendors then depositing those checks into her bank account.


             The money fraudulently obtained by William and Victoria Williams was transferred into their joint checking account, then transferred again to a GMAC demand account. Funds were accumulated in the GMAC demand account until after the scheme was discovered by Hendren management. Following the discovery of the scheme by Hendren management, most of the money in the GMAC demand account was transferred into the Williams’ savings account. The following day, those funds were transferred by wire transfer to another bank account, which is the basis of the money-laundering charge to which they pleaded guilty.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Monroe. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Newton County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

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