Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling from her Tulsa Employer
United States Attorney Trent Shores announced that Kristiana P. Collins, 44, formerly of Tulsa, pleaded guilty Thursday to wire fraud and to signing a false tax return.
In a plea hearing, 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.
“Kristiana Collins fraudulently took thousands of dollars from her employer. Embezzlement schemes like this cause serious financial consequences to local businesses,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “And the damage often isn’t limited to financial injury. When a trusted employee steals from company coffers, it collaterally impacts the firm's culture, morale and trust. My office strives to protect the integrity of the workplace by ensuring there is an accounting for criminals who embezzle from businesses in northeastern Oklahoma.”
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.
The plea agreement focused on a $4, 971.24 wire transfer, caused by Collins in 2013, made from the company’s bank account to the credit card company. Collins admitted that some of the purchases on the credit card statement were made fraudulently. She further agreed that she signed her 2013 tax return knowing it did not disclose the material income she had obtained through the use of her employer’s credit card.
Collins will be sentenced on January 7, 2019, at 10:30 a.m., by United States District Court Judge Claire V. Eagan. She faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and three years supervised release for wire fraud as well as three years in prison and one year supervised release for knowingly signing a false tax return.
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.