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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

Friday, November 15, 2013

West Virginia Woman Sentenced To 27 Months In Prison For Embezzling $1 Million From Cincinnati Company

CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer

CINCINNATI – Melissa Trenary Grove, 41, of Bunker Hill, West Virginia was sentenced to 27 months in prison for embezzling more than $1 million from her employer in Cincinnati. 

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation Cincinnati Field Office (FBI) announced the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett.

According to court documents, Grove was the chief financial officer for a computer consulting company called Collaborative Systems Group (CSG) in Cincinnati from 2007 through December 2009. Working from her home in West Virginia, she used a variety of schemes to embezzle approximately $1 million from the company.

During her three-year employment, Grove used a company credit card to pay for numerous personal items, all of which were unauthorized purchases. Grove also wired funds and wrote checks from the company accounts into her personal accounts. Grove also stole money from the company by secretly adding a relative to the company payroll. Eventually, the company management removed Grove from her position and the embezzlement was discovered. Most of the money she embezzled was used for personal expenses and family members. She also used the money to start her own spa business in West Virginia, which eventually failed.

“In terms of promoting respect for the law and affording adequate deterrence, the sentence should make clear to the person on the street that financial crimes do indeed have consequences, including imprisonment,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Mangan told the court.

Grove was ordered to pay $1,065,092.99 in restitution to CSG, and ordered to forfeit any assets she has that were purchased with proceeds of the crime. She will report to prison in January 2014. She will be under court supervision for three years following her prison term.

Grove pleaded guilty on June 20, 2013 to one count of wire fraud.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mangan, who represented the United States in the case.

Updated July 23, 2015