News and Press Releases

ash grove woman pleads guilty to $480,000 fraud scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Ash Grove, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to stealing nearly $480,000 from her Nixa,Mo., employer in a fraud scheme.

Carla Jean Wilson, 53, of Ash Grove, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to a federal information that charges her with forging checks from her employer and with filing a false tax return.

Wilson, an accountant, was employed at Kitchenland USA, Inc., as an office manager beginning in August 2004 until she was terminated on Sept. 20, 2010.

By pleading guilty today, Wilson admitted that she was involved in a scheme to embezzle funds from Kitchenland between Jan. 19, 2007, and Sept. 20, 2010. During that time period, Wilson obtained signed bank checks drawn on Kitchenland’s bank account, which she made payable to herself. Wilson received a total of $479,803 in unauthorized payments from checks drawn on Kitchenland’s account.

According to today’s plea agreement, Wilson failed to report the embezzled funds as income when she filed federal tax returns for the years 2007 through 2010, thus significantly underreporting her income. Wilson pleaded guilty to failing to report approximately $223,776 in income that she received in 2009 as a result of her fraud scheme.

Under federal statutes, Wilson is subject to a sentence of up to 13 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $350,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigations.

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