North Andover Woman Sentenced for Embezzling Employer’s Outgoing Vendor Payments
Defendant used embezzled funds to pay personal debts and living expenses
BOSTON – A North Andover woman was sentenced Wednesday, April 28, 2021 in federal court in Boston in connection with embezzling over $157,000 in checks issued by her employer to company vendors.
Sharon M. Lewis, 59, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. to nine months in prison and three years of supervised release. Lewis was also ordered to forfeit $157,213 and to pay restitution in the same amount. In December 2020, Lewis pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud affecting a financial institution.
In or about August 2013, Lewis began working for a Lawrence-based company as an accounts payable clerk. Among Lewis’ responsibilities was preparing company checks to pay outstanding vendor invoices. From about September 2017 to December 2019, Lewis used her position to divert dozens of signed vendor checks to herself for deposit into her personal bank account. On multiple occasions, to conceal her scheme, Lewis led vendors to believe that their missing payments had been lost in the mail. Over the course of the scheme, Lewis deposited at least 48 checks payable to company vendors, with a total value of more than $157,000. Lewis withdrew approximately one-third of that amount in cash and used the rest to pay personal debts and living expenses.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney James R. Drabick of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.