A Fitchburg Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Over $1.3 Million Dollars from Employer
BOSTON – A former Fitchburg office manager pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston to embezzling over $1.3 million dollars from her employer over a ten year period.
Dawnmarie Prince, 47, pleaded guilty to eight counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Court Senior Judge Rya W. Zobel scheduled sentencing for Sept. 14, 2016.
Prince worked as an office manager at a Woburn-based life science technology firm where she was responsible for handling the firm’s accounts payable. Since at least 2005 through May 2015, Prince used her position as office manager to steal hundreds of the company’s checks, which she made payable to herself or to her son. Prince then forged her boss’s signature on the stolen checks, and deposited them into her personal bank accounts.
To conceal her criminal conduct and avoid detection, Prince removed copies of the negotiated checks when sent back by the bank, and she falsified entries into the bookkeeping software program to make it appear as if the stolen checks had been used to pay legitimate vendors. In total, Prince embezzled over $1.3 million which she spent on personal expenses.
In 2001, Prince was convicted of mail fraud for defrauding a previous employer and sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution. Prince was employed as a claims analyst for a subsidiary company of a Boston-based health plan. Shortly after starting that job, Prince created and submitted numerous false medical provider claims to the health plan. As a result, Prince received almost $50,000 in claims checks, which she endorsed and deposited into her personal bank account. Prince’s recent fraud came to light after Prince provided false and incomplete financial information to the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Financial Litigation Unit, which was responsible for collecting the outstanding restitution payments on the 2001 case.
Prince faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine on each of the bank fraud counts, as well as a mandatory consecutive term of two years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 for the aggravated identity theft charge. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Boston Division, made the announcement today.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jordi de Llano of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.