Former Office Manager Pleads Guilty To Stealing Over $300,000 From Employer
Defendant Used Money to Pay Bills and For Personal Purposes
WASHINGTON – Bianca Bush-Bronson, 37, the former office manager for a consulting and lobbying firm, pled guilty today to a federal charge stemming from a scheme in which she embezzled more than $300,000 from her employer, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Bush-Bronson, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty to a charge of wire fraud in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and potential financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Bush-Bronson faces a likely range of 30 to 37 months in prison and a fine between $10,000 and $100,000. As part of her plea agreement, she must pay $303,972 in restitution. The Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan scheduled sentencing for July 7, 2016.
According to the government’s evidence, Bush-Bronson worked from April 2011 to October 2012 for a business identified in court documents as “Company A,” a consulting and lobbying firm in the District of Columbia. She maintained responsibility for the company’s day-to-day financial operations, including preparing checks, depositing funds, performing reconciliation of funds in bank accounts, and serving as a point of contact with the bank.
From June 2011 through October 2012, according to the government’s evidence, Bush-Bronson issued checks drawn on the company’s account to herself, to cash, and to third parties for her own benefit. To conceal this activity, she made false entries in internal books and records. In total, she issued at least $45,786 in checks in this manner, using the money for, among other things, a down payment on a car, a mortgage payment, and a payment to her dentist.
Bush-Bronson also used the company’s credit card to make $258,186 in unauthorized purchases for her own personal use at various retailers, including a jewelry store, department stores, and a salon, as well as for restaurants, airline tickets, and hotel stays.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Assistant Director in Charge Abbate commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Tasha Harris, Legal Assistant Angela Lawrence, and former Paralegal Specialist Heather Sales. Finally, they commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle A. Zamarin and David A. Last, who prosecuted the case.