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Press Release

Kokomo Woman Sentenced to 21 Months in Federal Prison for Embezzling Over $400,000 from Employer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS- Bethany Olmsted, 43, of Kokomo, Indiana, has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to five counts of wire fraud.

According to court documents, on or about November 29, 2017, Olmsted was hired as controller for Company A, a private business, and five other investment companies partially owned by Company A’s owner. As these companies’ controller, Olmsted managed the bookkeeping, tax reporting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and day-to-day finances for each business. Olmsted’s duties included tracking and categorizing all the companies’ receipts and spending using accounting software. She also had the authority to write company checks to pay legitimate business expenses.

Starting on November 29, 2018, Olmsted began writing checks from the investment companies’ bank accounts to herself and depositing them into her personal bank account. To conceal her thefts, Olmsted falsely categorized these payments to herself as payments to legitimate businesses or vendors such as for “Mowing & Landscaping.” Similarly, she categorized checks written to herself as payments to “Fortune Companies Inc.” for “Repairs & Maintenance.” In addition, she transferred money from Company A’s bank account to the other companies’ bank accounts to hide the thefts. When confronted by company officials about the theft of company funds, Olmsted repeatedly lied about the extent of the thefts and her efforts to avoid detection by altering the companies’ books.

Between November 2018 and September 2021, Olmsted fraudulently wrote approximately 520 checks from the companies to herself, stealing $413,531. Olmsted used the stolen funds to purchase spa treatments, jewelry, clothes, and dinners at high-end steakhouses.

“For almost three years, this defendant repaid the trust of her employers with deceit and theft, helping herself to nearly half a million dollars and cooking the books to hide the evidence,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Fraud and embezzlement can have devastating effects on the victim individuals and companies. The federal prison sentence imposed here demonstrates that those who commit financial crimes will pay a serious price. I commend the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and our federal prosecutor for their efforts to investigate these crimes and hold the defendant accountable.”

“I am proud of our postal inspectors’ abilities to identify and untangle intricate fraud schemes, and grateful to our partners at the United States Attorney’s Office for their work in bringing justice to individuals who take advantage of their positions of trust for financial gain,” said Rodney M. Hopkins, Inspector in Charge for the Detroit Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge James R. Sweeney II. Judge Sweeney also ordered that Olmsted be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 2 years following her release from federal prison and pay $413,531.98 in restitution to the victim businesses.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Adam Eakman, who prosecuted this case.


Updated March 18, 2024

Financial Fraud