News and Press Releases

kansas woman pleads guilty to $561,000 fraud scheme

October 10, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Leavenworth, Kan., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to a bank fraud scheme in which she embezzled more than $561,000 from her North Kansas City, Mo., employer.

Paula A. Cathey, 53, of Leavenworth, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to a federal information that charges her with 15 counts of bank fraud.

Cathey was employed from Sept. 7, 1997, through March 31, 2011, as the controller for Mega Industries Corp., a heavy highway and general contractor construction company in North Kansas City with approximately 25 employees.

Cathey admitted that she embezzled approximately $561,552 as a result of her fraud scheme. Cathey obtained checks from the office of a subordinate, wrote unauthorized checks to herself and, without the knowledge or consent of the company presidents, forged their signatures on the checks. Cathey deposited the checks in her personal bank account and used the money largely for gambling.

In order to conceal her fraud, Cathey manipulated the company’s ledgers and created false accounting entries. Cathey was the first person to get the mail; when monthly bank statements came in the mail, she removed them and destroyed most of them.

Under federal statutes, Cathey is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1 million and an order of restitution, on each of the 15 counts. 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 Senior Litigation Counsel Linda Parker Marshall. It was investigated by the FBI.

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