Former Financial Controller Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Embezzling Over $1.8 Million From Montgomery County Multinational Technology Company
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Donna Laansma, 58, of Fairless Hills, PA, was sentenced to three years in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay full restitution by United States District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson for her scheme to embezzle over $1.8 million from her former employer, and for failing to report these fraudulently obtained earnings to the IRS.
In February 2022, the defendant was charged by Information with wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with this scheme. At the time of the charged conduct, Laansma was the Financial Controller of Astea, a global management software company based in Horsham, PA, and managed the company’s finances worldwide. According to court documents, Laansma obtained a corporate credit card that she kept hidden from senior management. Between November 2014 and November 2020, the defendant used this secret card to spend over $1.8 million on personal expenditures such as her son’s college tuition, monthly payments on her personal bank accounts, vacations, shoes, groceries, furniture, and gift cards. She also utilized her position as Financial Controller to pay down the corporate card bills, falsely recording these payments as legitimate business expenses in company books. The secret corporate credit card was discovered in 2020, after Astea was acquired by another global enterprise software company. Laansma, who was a Certified Public Accountant and familiar with the tax code, failed to report her extra, fraudulently obtained income as earnings on her tax forms.
“Donna Laansma cheated her former employer out of nearly two million dollars, and covered her tracks to hide her fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “Instead of doing the right thing and performing her job honestly as the company’s controller, she chose the greedy path. Our Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect innocent individuals and businesses from being victimized by financial fraud.”
“For years, Donna Laansma stole from her employer and omitted her earnings on her tax returns, said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty. “Today she has been held accountable for her actions. The sentence she received today is a costly reminder that engaging in such criminal behavior will result in dire consequences such as a loss of liberty and being branded a felon for life.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Jeanette Kang.