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Press Release

Southern Ohio woman charged with embezzling more than $700k from employer

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

CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury has charged a Sardinia, Ohio, woman with stealing more than $700,000 from the family-owned business for which she worked.


Tina Coday-Townes, 48, was arrested by federal agents today and appeared in federal court in Cincinnati at 1:30pm. Her case was unsealed at her initial appearance.


According to court documents, Coday-Townes previously served as the office manager for Custom Built Crates in Clermont County. In that role, the defendant was responsible for accounts payable and bookkeeping, including inputting and sending data to a third-party payroll company.


The indictment alleges that from 2013 until 2019, Coday-Townes wrote checks using an employers’ signature stamp from Custom Built Crates’ operating accounts to pay off her personal credit cards. She also allegedly made false entries into the accounting database, indicating the checks were to vendors rather than to her personal credit cards.


Coday-Townes also allegedly entered overtime hours for herself, even though she was ineligible for overtime as a salaried employee.


In total, it is alleged the defendant stole $700,666.21 from her employee over the course of six years.


Coday-Townes is charged with wire fraud, a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and aggravated identity theft, which carries an additional mandatory sentence of two years in prison.


Vipal J. Patel, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the charges. Assistant United States Attorney Ashley N. Brucato is representing the United States in this case.


An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.


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Updated April 29, 2021

Financial Fraud