OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
MARCH 31, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEST PLAINS WOMAN CHARGED WITH STEALING
$750,000 FROM EMPLOYER
INDICTED FOR BANK FRAUD, FORGING SECURITIES
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a West Plains, Mo., woman was indicted by a federal grand jury today for bank fraud and forging securities as part of a scheme to embezzle at least $750,000 from her employer.
Mary Elizabeth Hurtt, 57, of West Plains, was charged in a seven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield.
According to the indictment, Hurtt was employed as a bookkeeper at White Electrical Services, Inc., from 1999 to June 5, 2007. White Electrical Services, founded as a family business in 1970 and incorporated in 1998, installed commercial security systems around the United States. White Electrical Services was closed on Jan. 1, 2008, and its assets were sold to another business.
Today’s indictment alleges that, between Jan. 31, 2000, and May 21, 2007, Hurtt devised a scheme to embezzle at least $750,000 from White Electrical Services’ bank accounts.
As part of the fraud scheme, the indictment says, Hurtt fraudulently endorsed and received payment on checks that were drawn on White Electrical Services, which had been signed and endorsed by an authorized person for the purpose of making the company’s quarterly tax payment to the Internal Revenue Service. The indictment also alleges that Hurtt forged signatures in order to endorse and receive payment for White Electrical Services checks.
The federal indictment charges Hurtt with two counts of bank fraud and five counts of forging securities related to the scheme to defraud her employer.
Whitworth cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the West Plains, Mo., Police Department.
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