Maryland Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge In Embezzlement Scheme Against Her Employer
Second Woman Earlier Pled Guilty to Joining in Fraud
WASHINGTON – Stacey Walters, 38, a former accountant at Howard University, pled guilty today to a federal charge of wire fraud stemming from a scheme in which she embezzled over $105,000 from her employer, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.
Walters, of Indian Head, Md., pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable James E. Boasberg scheduled sentencing for Nov. 15, 2016.
According to the government’s evidence, Walters was hired at Howard University in July 2010. Her responsibilities included preparing financial reports and performing general accounting and budget functions. She was terminated from the job in October 2011.
From December 2010 through May of 2011, according to the government’s evidence, Walters submitted a total of 13 forms authorizing payment from her employer to various vendors. However, she fraudulently listed the banking information for her own account on one of the forms, causing $9,388 to be transferred to her own account. In addition, Walters listed banking information for another individual, Shantel Brown, on 12 other forms, causing $96,398 to be transferred to Brown’s account. At the direction of Walters, Brown transferred half of the funds she had fraudulently received from Howard University to Walters.
Brown, 34, of Waldorf, Md., pled guilty on Feb. 22, 2016 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. She is to be sentenced on Nov. 1, 2016, also by Judge Boasberg. In her guilty plea, Brown admitted taking part in the fraud against Howard University. She also admitted to carrying out a separate scheme from November 2011 through March 2013 in which she stole $79,874 from her employer, Defenders of Wildlife; Brown worked for the non-profit organization as a payroll/compliance specialist at the time.
As part of their pleas, both defendants must pay restitution.
In announcing the pleas, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), as well as Criminal Investigator Stephen Cohen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Swanton, Criminal Investigator Juan Juarez, and Paralegal Specialists Jessica Mundi and Christopher Toms, all of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Finally, he acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa A. Howie, who is prosecuting both cases.