Maryland Woman Sentenced to a Year in Prison For Embezzlement Scheme Against Her Employer
Second Woman Earlier Sentenced for Her Role in Fraud
WASHINGTON – Stacey Walters, 38, a former accountant at Howard University, was sentenced today to a year and a day in prison for 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 September 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to a charge of wire fraud. She was sentenced by the Honorable James E. Boasberg. Upon completion of her prison term, she will be placed on three years of supervised release. She also was ordered to pay $57,586 in restitution.
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 was sentenced on Nov. 1, 2016, also by Judge Boasberg, to a year and a day of incarceration, to be followed by three years of supervised release. She also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $128,072. 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.
In announcing the sentence, 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, Christopher Toms, and Aisha Keys, all of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Finally, he acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa A. Howie, who prosecuted both cases.