Former Director of Human Resources Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Over 1.8 Million Dollars From Her Employer
St. Louis, MO – Nicole M. Scott, 42, of St. Louis City, Missouri, pleaded guilty to one felony count of wire fraud. Scott appeared in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey who accepted her plea and set her sentencing date for January 23, 2020.
According to court documents, from January 2009 until January 2019, Scott embezzled more than $1.8 million from her employer. As part of her scheme, Scott would use her company’s payroll system to access lists of the company’s former employees, change the direct deposit information for certain former employees to her own personal bank account, and then enter fraudulent “negative deduction” transactions thereby causing the company to pay funds to Scott’s personal bank account. In order to conceal her scheme, Scott would then manipulate payroll journal entries related to the fraudulent transactions causing them to be imputed to Scott for tax purposes. Scott used the more than $1.8 million in fraud proceeds for personal gain, including making payments on a mortgage loan, to purchase clothing and accessories, and to pay for living expenses.
“Nicole Scott thought she could get away with her scheme because she oversaw the payroll system and had the ability to alter it,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard Quinn of the FBI St. Louis Division. “Like other white-collar criminals who exploit their positions of trust, she will pay for her greed.”
Scott faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Restitution is also mandatory. In determining the actual sentence, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Bateman is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.