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Press Release

Former bookkeeper sentenced to prison for embezzlement

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia

ATLANTA – Alice Sue Smith has been sentenced for stealing from her employer while working as the bookkeeper and for filing false tax returns.

“When employees take advantage of their positions of trust to steal from small, family-owned businesses, real victims suffer serious financial harm,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine.  “As in this case, there are real and significant consequences for employees who are caught stealing from their employers.”

“Smith let her greed blind her to responsibilities her company entrusted her with,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “For that she will be held accountable.”

“This sentencing sends a clear message that stealing from your employer is not okay,” said Demetrius Hardeman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, IRS CI Atlanta Field Office. “No one should ever feel they have the right to take what is not theirs.  IRS-CI will continue to work diligently, in concert with the FBI and US Attorney’s Office, to ensure everyone pays their fair share.”

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine, the criminal information, and other information presented in court: Alice Sue Smith was the bookkeeper and office manager at Chattanooga Coin, Inc. (“CCI”) from 2004 to 2018. From 2009 to 2018, Smith forged the signatures of CCI’s owners on approximately 1,400 checks that she then cashed. Smith also created fictitious check stubs in CCI’s financial records to cover up her fraud. In total, she stole approximately $1.24 million from CCI over nearly a decade. Smith also failed to report the embezzled funds and other legitimate income on her income tax returns.

Alice Sue Smith, 63, of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, has been sentenced to three years, seven months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. The Court also ordered her to pay restitution to CCI and the United States of approximately $1.48 million. She was convicted of wire fraud and filing a false tax return on February 11, 2021, after pleading guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the Rossville, Georgia Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Qin and Russell Phillips prosecuted this case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated August 19, 2021

Financial Fraud