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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 4, 2016

Former Office Manager Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge In Theft of Nearly $280,000 From D.C. Architecture Firm

Embezzlement Took Place for Nearly a Decade

            WASHINGTON – Jill Murray, a former office manager and book keeper for a Washington-based architecture firm, pled guilty today to a federal charge involving the embezzlement of nearly $280,000 from her employer, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Murray, 50, of North Charleston, S.C., pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of wire fraud. The Honorable Randolph D. Moss scheduled sentencing for Jan. 27, 2017. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Murray faces a likely range of 21 to 27 months in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. She also has agreed to pay $279, 611 in restitution and an identical amount in a forfeiture money judgment.

            According to the government’s evidence, Murray was authorized to make supply purchases for the firm’s business operations and was responsible for maintaining bookkeeping records for all expenses that were paid out to vendors and contractors.  Murray was also authorized to pay her employer’s credit card bills.

            Between December 2005 and March 2014, Murray made approximately $112,630 in unauthorized personal purchases of items from retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Staples, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Whole Foods, Office Depot, Crate & Barrel, and the District of Columbia Parking Enforcement Agency.  From about January 2007, through about March 2014, Murray, using the company’s credit cards, purchased gift cards in her own name from Staples in the amount of $83,511 and from Office Depot in the amount of $83,469. Murray was able to conceal her theft scheme by manipulating the architecture firm’s books.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit. He also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who worked on the matter for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Swanton, who handled forfeiture issues, Paralegal Specialists Krishawn Graham and Angela Lawrence, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mervin A. Bourne, Jr., who prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
16-216
Updated November 4, 2016