MOBILE, AL – A Fairhope woman was sentenced to 61 months in prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with her embezzlement of more than $286,000 from a real estate business where she worked.
According to court documents, Kelley Ann Kann, 57, was employed for several years as an office administrator and bookkeeper at a locally owned business in Mobile. Kann’s role, a position of financial trust, granted her access to the company’s financial information and payment mechanisms, allowing her to conduct financial transactions for the company and its affiliated businesses. In July 2018, Kann fraudulently obtained Capital One credit cards using the name, date of birth, and social security number of the spouse of the company’s owner. On recorded phone calls that Kann made to Capital One’s customer service line, Kann falsely represented herself as the spouse and provided the spouse’s personal identifiable information.
Between July 2018 and May 2021, Kann used the Capital One credit cards to make hundreds of unauthorized purchases of goods and services for her own personal benefit and without the company’s authorization. Kann’s fraudulent purchases included, among other things, clothing, electronics, food, furniture, streaming services, utilities payments, and vacations for herself and a personal associate. Kann then paid the credit card bills via dozens of unauthorized transfers from the bank accounts of the company and its affiliated businesses, causing a total loss of $286,307.73.
In May 2021, when the company’s owner confronted Kann about the theft, Kann wrote a handwritten statement admitting to stealing what she then claimed was only $20,000 and vowing to repay the money. Kann provided the owner with doctored bank statements that did not accurately reflect account balances and transactions. Kann later stopped reporting for work and did not repay any money.
At Kann’s sentencing hearing, the United States presented evidence that Kann had previously embezzled more than $50,000 from various employers in San Antonio, Texas. Additionally, the United States presented evidence that in December 2022 and January 2023, after pleading guilty and while on court-ordered conditions of pretrial release, Kann stole more money from an automotive repair shop where she worked in Pensacola, Florida.
In addition to the 61-month prison term, United States District Judge Kristi K. DuBose ordered Kann to serve a three-year term of supervised release upon her release from prison, during which time she will receive mental health evaluation and treatment and will be subject to credit restrictions. The court did not impose a fine, but Judge DuBose ordered Kann to pay $286,307.73 in victim restitution and $200 in special assessments. The court also entered a money judgment against Kann for the full amount of victim restitution that she owes.
U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello said, “Greedy, selfish criminals like Ms. Kann can’t hide when they abuse the trust of their innocent victims. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will bring to justice crooks who take advantage of their employers to enrich themselves.”
“By virtue of her position, and access to sensitive information, Ms. Kann violated the very trust that had been bestowed upon her by her employer,” said Patrick Davis, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Birmingham Field Office. “The Secret Service will always seek prosecution of those who exploit their position of trust for their own enrichment.”
The United States Secret Service and the Mobile Police Department investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Roller prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.