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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Columbia Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $231,600 from Employer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Columbia, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to embezzling $231,600 from her employer, Shelter Insurance Federal Credit Union.

Debra L. Wenger, 62, of Columbia, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matt J. Whitworth to a federal information that charges her with misappropriation of funds by a credit union employee.

Wenger began working for Shelter Insurance Companies in 1972 and transferred to Shelter Insurance Federal Credit Union in 1988. She worked as an administrative assistant, assuming all accounting responsibilities, and served as a teller.

An external auditor discovered the misappropriation of funds in February 2016. Auditors noted a discrepancy when comparing the general ledger teller cash to the cash balancing sheet. Shortly after the discrepancy was discovered, Wenger met with the Columbia Police Department and confessed that she had misappropriated the funds in question. Wenger admitted that she took cash from her teller drawer and deposited it into her personal bank account.

An internal audit by the company determined the total amount of misappropriated funds to be $231,600.

Under federal statutes, Wenger is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated April 27, 2017