Lee's Summit Woman Charged with Embezzling $300,000 from Employer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Lee’s Summit, Mo., woman has been charged in a scheme to embezzle more than $300,000 from her employer.
Patricia Webb, 43, of Lee’s Summit, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Webb will have her initial court appearance today.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Webb was employed by Black and Veatch, a global engineering, consulting and construction company, from January 2015 until March 4, 2016. Webb earned $90,000 per year as global payroll manager.
The complaint alleges that, from July 2015 to February 2016, Webb facilitated unauthorized wire transfers and Automated Clearing House transactions (fund transfers, such as direct deposits and business-to-business payments) from the company’s payroll account to her own business bank account under the corporate name Beauty Within Me. To conceal her fraud, Webb manipulated the direct deposit information of Black and Veatch clients, who were either based overseas or deceased, to funnel company funds into her own bank account.
Webb allegedly embezzled approximately $302,183 from Black and Veatch in a series of six transfers that ranged from $8,588 to $92,862 over approximately seven months in 2015 and 2016.
During the scheme, the affidavit says, Webb made $106,529 in withdrawals and expenditures at casinos; spent $8,986 on travel-related expenses (including airfare and hotels for trips to Bangkok, Thailand, Las Vegas, Nev., and Miami, Fla.; made $14,449 in payments to multiple higher education universities; and made $61,745 in ATM withdrawals.
On March 4, 2016, an accounts manager at Commerce Bank contacted Black and Veatch’s executive management regarding payroll deposits that seemed suspicious. On the same day, Webb was confronted about the suspicious transactions and was suspended without pay.
Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by the FBI.