St. Louis Woman Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Charge
St. Louis, MO – Kathleen Essick, 35, St. Louis, MO, pled guilty today to one charge of wire fraud as part of a scheme to defraud her employer. Essick appeared today before United States District Judge Ronnie L. White. Sentencing is set for September 27, 2017.
According to court documents, Essick was the executive assistant to a principal at an investment firm in Clayton. That executive traveled frequently. During his many absences from the area, Essick paid his personal bills and was given the authority to write checks on the executive’s personal account in order to pay those bills. From January 2015 through June, 2016, Essick wrote a series of unauthorized checks for her personal benefit on that account. She deposited many of the checks into her personal account at Commerce Bank and spent the stolen money. Esscik spent some $34,700.00 of the stolen funds at the David Yurman jewelry store in Frontenac Plaza. She pled guilty to wire fraud involving a debit/wire purchase in the amount of $5,500.00 occurring at that store in May, 2016.
It was determined that Essick stole $176,600.00 as part of her scheme.
Wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney James Crowe is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.