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Press Release

Former office manager pleads guilty to embezzling over 3.5 million dollars

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

ATLANTA – Sonya Hesenius, a former office manager and executive assistant for an Alpharetta company, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud after embezzling over $3.5 million between 2015 and 2020.

“Hesenius stole millions of dollars from her employer to fund a lavish lifestyle,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Those entrusted with a fiduciary role for a company accept great responsibility. The defendant’s actions demonstrate that she cared far more about personal gain and much less about the faith and trust that her employer placed in her.”

“Hesenius worked in a position of trust for a company that expected her to honor that trust,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Instead, she chose to abuse it and her personal greed not only hurt the company, but everyone who worked for them. This plea should send the message that the FBI takes wire fraud extremely seriously and will work to hold offenders accountable.”

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: Between 2015 and 2020, while employed as an office manager and executive assistant at an Alpharetta, Georgia company providing yard care services, Sonya Hesenius made fraudulent charges on corporate credit cards and caused the company to reimburse her personal credit card for personal expenses. To conceal her scheme, she coded and approved all the charges herself, withheld supporting documentation from the company, and disguised the unauthorized expenditures in the company’s system as legitimate expenses – such as newspaper advertisements. Hesenius also disseminated the expenditures among different job sites to further conceal the fraud.

Hesenius used the embezzled funds to pay for a variety of personal expenses, including, among other things, her daughter’s wedding at the Barnsley Resort; cash transfers through PayPal, Venmo, and Square; Luis Vuitton and Chanel handbags; plane flights for Hesenius and more than 20 of her family members and friends; season tickets for University of Tennessee football and basketball teams; a recreational vehicle; hotels; furniture; cruises; and clothing items. In total, Hesenius embezzled more than $3,500,000.

Sonya Hesenius, 59, of Suwanee, Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for March 6, 2024, at 10:00 am before U.S. District Judge Victoria M. Calvert.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. O'Neal is prosecuting the 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 November 30, 2023

Financial Fraud