Skip to main content
Press Release

Tuscola Woman Charged With Embezzling $340,000 From Former Employer, Filing False Tax Returns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

Urbana, Ill. – A grand jury today returned an indictment that charges Karyn E. Graham, 43, of Tuscola, Ill., with embezzling more than $340,000 from her former employer, a Champaign county, Ill., farm machinery and implement company, and filing false income tax returns. Graham will be issued a summons to appear in federal court in Urbana for arraignment on a date to be determined by the U.S. Clerk of the Court.

Graham is charged with one count of wire fraud and four counts of filing a false income tax return. The indictment alleges that from 2006 to early 2010, Graham used her position as the accounting manager at Shaff Implement and Shaff Machinery Company to divert approximately $340,000 from the business for her own use and personal benefit. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Graham used the company’s credit card to make personal purchases of approximately $147,000 as well as the company’s Sam’s Club card to make personal purchases totaling more than $51,000; wrote unauthorized checks payable to herself or various payees totaling approximately $69,000; paid approximately $16,000 to her personal credit cards; deposited more than $12,000 in her personal bank accounts; and paid more than $8,500 for her personal cell phone bill.

The indictment further alleges that Graham failed to report money she had fraudulently diverted from Shaff’s accounts when she filed her federal income tax returns for 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Graham omitted approximately $14,079 from her 2006 return; $25,318 from her 2007 return; $162,394 from her 2008 return; and $141,460 from her 2009 return. The indictment alleges the total estimated additional tax owed as approximately $103,201 for the four-year period.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with Shaff Implement and Shaff Machinery Company. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller.

If convicted, the offense of wire fraud carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. For each count of filing a false income tax return, the penalty is up to three years in prison and fine of up to $100,000. Final sentences are determined by the court. In imposing sentence, the court may consider federal sentencing guidelines, which include a defendant’s criminal history, the amount of loss, and other applicable factors.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Updated June 22, 2015