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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Aug. 20, 2012                   


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that a Putnam County woman was sentenced today to three years and one month in federal prison for tax evasion.  Georgiana Ciavarello, 40, of Putnam County, W.Va., previously pleaded guilty in May.
Ciavarello, a former bookkeeper for Charleston-based Quail Ridge Construction Company (QRC), admitted that she embezzled $759,124.67 from the company between September 2007 and November 2010.  At the time of the embezzlement, the defendant was responsible for drafting checks and making QRC bank account deposits and transfers and was authorized to use the company’s credit cards to make purchases.  Ciavarello admitted that during the embezzlement scheme, she unlawfully negotiated employee per diem checks for cash.  

In addition to the embezzlement scheme, Ciavarello admitted that she failed to pay income tax of $216,855.52 for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

After representatives of QRC addressed the Court, the judge imposed a sentence greater than the sentence called for by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  The judge rejected Ciavarello’s explanations of why she stole the money and found that Ciavarello’s actions in carrying out the embezzlement scheme betrayed the trust of her employers and co-workers.

The Court also ordered that Ciavarello pay restitution of $1,025,428.10, the total of the embezzled money, the unpaid tax, and $49,448 of Social Security benefits she improperly received.

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, and the Charleston Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Hunter P. Smith Jr. handled the prosecution.  The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers. 

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