Former Office Manager Sentenced for Embezzlement Scheme
TULSA, Okla. –A former Tulsa resident has been sentenced today in U.S. District Court for committing wire fraud and for signing a false tax return.
U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan ordered Kristiana P. Collins, 44, to federal prison for 21 months to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.
“White collar crime undermines the rule of law and harms business. My office ensures there is an accounting for those who embezzle from businesses in northeastern Oklahoma,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Ms. Collins abused the responsibility entrusted to her, and now she will pay the price for stealing more than $640,000. Moreover, she also cheated on her tax returns. Cheaters get caught, and she will suffer the consequences of her greed. I commend the Creek County Sheriff’s Office, the IRS Criminal Investigations Division, the FBI and AUSA Kevin Leitch for their excellent work on this case.”
At her plea hearing last September, Collins admitted to embezzling funds from her former employer between 2008 and 2014, when she responsible for paying the credit card accounts and handling bookkeeping operations at a company in west Tulsa. She also admitted to failing to report the illegal income on her federal tax returns.
While working in her position, Collins secretly obtained two Visa cards for herself under the company’s account, which was supposed to be used by various approved employees for company purposes. As part of her scheme, Collins made purchases for her own personal gain on both credit cards and later used company funds to pay the billed charges.
In papers filed with the court, the government explained that Ms. Collins had squandered her employer’s funds by making hundreds of purchases in the course of taking trips to Las Vegas, Taos, Cancun and other locations in and around Oklahoma. In 2013 alone, Collins charged $161,961.67 on the company credit card account. The court ordered Collins to repay the victim $640,314.17 and to pay the Internal Revenue Service $99,160 for taxes that she owed on the stolen funds.
Investigative agencies involved in this case include the Creek County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin C. Leitch prosecuted the case.