News and Press Releases

ava woman sentenced for embezzling $212,000
from employer in wire fraud scheme

March 20, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Ava, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for embezzling $212,100 from her employer.

 Peggy J. Duncan, 63, of Ava, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to three years and two months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Duncan to pay $212,100 in restitution to her victims.

Duncan was the account manager for the law firm of Carmichael & Neal, P.C. In addition to her other duties, Duncan handled the accounts payable and reconciled bank accounts for multiple corporations operated by Lloyd and Rose Carmichael, including Affordable Homes Development, LLC. During her employment, Duncan and her husband jointly owned Twin Oaks Mill, Inc., a sawmill located in Ava.

On Aug. 29, 2013, Duncan pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud. Duncan admitted that she prepared 47 checks totaling $212,100 drawn on the Affordable Homes bank account from September 2006 to February 2009. Each of these checks was made payable to herself or to Twin Oaks Mill. Duncan forged her employer’s name to the checks without his knowledge or permission and deposited the checks into her own bank accounts. Duncan converted these funds to her and her husband’s personal use.

Duncan then entered false information into the Affordable Homes Reconciliation Detail Report which she presented to Lloyd Carmichael each month. The false information entered by Duncan made it appear that each check was written to other parties and was written for an otherwise authorized and legitimate purpose.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

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