ATLANTA - Carrie N. Harris, a former Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for an employee-owned construction company based in Lithonia, Georgia has been arraigned on federal charges for embezzling more than $1 million from her employer to pay for her personal expenses. Harris was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 12, 2018.
“Harris allegedly abused her position as the Chief Financial Officer for an employee-owned company, stealing more than $1 million to enrich herself,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “As thieves get more and more creative, employers must build in checks and balances to avoid turning over the ‘keys’ to the kingdom.”
“Theft of assets from an employee-owned company jeopardizes the benefits of workers,” said Isabel Colon, Regional Director of Employee Benefits Security Administration’s Atlanta Regional Office. “This case reaffirms the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to protect workers’ benefits by identifying criminal activity wherever and whenever it occurs.”
“Harris is accused of abusing the trust of the company which hired her, causing significant losses to her fellow employees,” said J.C. Hacker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will hold anyone accountable who chooses to line their pockets at the expense of the companies they work for.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Between 2008 and 2013, Harris allegedly used her position as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of an employee-owned construction company to steal more than $1 million by issuing over 100 checks to pay for her personal expenses, including nearly $250,000 in flights, cruises, and other vacation expenses, more than $100,000 in cash withdrawals, and more than $100,000 in retail purchases. She caused the checks to be issued to pay for these expenses by using the President’s signature without authorization. The checks she allegedly issued to pay her personal expenses ranged from $4,500 to $17,000. Harris allegedly concealed her fraud from the company by falsifying entries on the company’s check register and general ledger.
Carrie N. Harris, 53, of Jackson, Georgia was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker on federal charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Department of Labor – Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan J. Huschka is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.