Haverhill Woman Sentenced to More Than Two Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Use Stolen Identities to Obtain Fraudulent Credit Cards
BOSTON – A Georgetown woman was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for embezzling over $419,000 from her employer.
Michelle Higson, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns to 27 months in prison, five years of supervised release and was ordered to pay over $419,000 in restitution. In September 2019, Higson pleaded guilty to four counts of bank fraud.
Higson was also sentenced separately for violating her supervised release, which was imposed in a prior case following her September 2017 conviction for a fraudulent scheme. U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper sentenced Higson to an additional six months in prison for the supervised release violation.
In 2013, Higson began working as a part-time bookkeeper for a Wilmington company. From 2015 until her termination in 2018, Higson stole a series of the company’s checks, made them payable to herself or to her husband, and forged her employer’s signatures. Higson cashed and deposited the checks for her own personal use. To conceal her criminal conduct and avoid detection by the company, Higson falsified entries in the company’s books to make it appear as if the stolen checks had been issued to satisfy payment to actual vendors. In addition, on several occasions, Higson inflated her pay rate and falsified the number of hours she worked, thereby collecting more money than what she actually earned. In total, Higson embezzled over $419,000.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joshua McCallister, Acting Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Deputy Chief of Mendell’s Major Crimes Unit, prosecuted the case.