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Press Release

Knoxville Woman Sentenced To 3 Years Imprisonment For Defrauding Local Non-Profit

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On November 3, 2021, Angelia Renae Brown, 50, and a resident of Knoxville, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas Varlan, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, to 36 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release. Brown was convicted of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and filing a false tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1).  Brown pleaded guilty to both offenses on May 26, 2021, pursuant to a plea agreement. 

According to the filed plea agreement, from as early as 2012 and continuing through June 2020, Brown embezzled more than $2 million from her former employer—a non-profit organization in Knoxville that focuses on the welfare of abused children.  During the criminal conduct, Brown worked as a staff accountant for the nonprofit organization.  In furtherance of the fraud scheme, Brown forged company checks and deposited them into her personal bank account.  Brown also concealed the fraud scheme from her former employer by altering the checks after they had been deposited into her bank account.  In all, Brown forged 885 checks that were drawn on her former employer’s bank accounts, causing a total loss amount to her former employer of $2,064,464.99.  Brown also failed to report the embezzled funds as income on her tax returns for tax years 2012 to 2019, resulting in an additional $552,224 loss to the Internal Revenue Service.

During sentencing, Brown was ordered to pay total restitution of $2,616,688.99, including $2,064,464.99 to her former employer and $552,224 to the Internal Revenue Service.

This case is the result of a joint investigation by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William A. Roach, Jr., represented the United States.



Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated November 3, 2021