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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BETH PHILLIPS


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

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


SEPTEMBER 23, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


AURORA WOMAN INDICTED FOR EMBEZZLING

$253,848 FROM EMPLOYER


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an Aurora, Mo., woman who was indicted by a federal grand jury for counterfeit checks and mail fraud related to a scheme to embezzle $253,848 from her employer made her first appearance in federal court today.


            Diana Kay Erickson, 45, of Aurora, was charged in a 16-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo., on Sept. 1, 2010. That indictment was unsealed and made public today following Erickson’s initial court appearance.


            The federal indictment alleges that, between Sept. 7, 2006, and April 2, 2008, Erickson embezzled $219,606 from Superior Lifts. The indictment also alleges that, between March 14, 2006, and Dec. 18, 2006, Erickson embezzled $34,242 from Goolsby Rental Properties.


            According to the indictment, Erickson was employed as a bookkeeper at Superior Lifts, Inc., in 2006. Superior Lifts, which is no longer in business, had its office in Aurora in 2004 then moved to Nixa, Mo., in 2009. The owners of Superior Lifts also operated Goolsby Rental Properties, a second business that managed rental properties in the Wichita, Kan., area. Erickson also performed bookkeeping duties for Goolsby Rental Properties.


            Erickson is charged with three counts of forged checks related to checks drawn on the bank account of Goolsby Rental Properties and made payable to Erickson, which she deposited into her own bank account.


            Erickson is also charged with 13 counts of mail fraud related to checks from customers who mailed their payments to Superior Lifts, but which Erickson allegedly deposited into her own bank account.


            Phillips 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, the Aurora, Mo., Police Department and the Lawrence County, Mo., Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.


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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

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mow/index.html