Lee's Summit Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing $5.3 Million from Employer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Lee’s Summit, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to embezzling nearly $5.3 million from her employer.
Jane Barnes, 53, of Lee’s Summit, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to a federal information that charges her with wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Barnes began working for ACI Boland Architects, a prominent architecture company in Kansas City, Mo., in 1998 and worked as the office manager from 2008 until her resignation in March 2016. By pleading guilty today, Barnes admitted that she conducted two schemes to defraud and embezzle a total of at least $5,293,300 from ACI Boland.
In Barnes’ first fraud scheme, she used the payroll system to pay herself unauthorized amounts in excess of her approved salary/bonus. Barnes inflated her bi-weekly salary without the authorization of ACI Boland. Barnes admitted that she embezzled at least $1,622,078 in her first scheme, which lasted from at least 2006 until 2011.
In her second fraud scheme, Barnes created unauthorized payroll checks to herself, which did not reflect on her W-2 forms; thus federal income and other taxes were not deducted from her checks through this scheme. Barnes issued 359 unauthorized checks to herself directly from ACI Boland’s payroll account. Barnes signed the checks with the forged signature of one of the principals of ACI Boland and deposited them into her personal bank accounts. Barnes admitted that she embezzled a total of $3,671,222 from ACI Boland in her second scheme, which began in 2010 and lasted until her resignation in March 2016.
The investigation to date revealed Barnes’ spending of the embezzled funds, included, but were not limited, to:
$1,969,210 in various credit card payments;
$770,393 in transfers to relatives;
$425,493 in entertainment, retail and travel;
$424,945 in vehicle expenses, including car loan payments;
$302,636 in cash and cash equivalents;
$253,856 in home expenses, excluding mortgage payments;
$124,412 in taxes
$119,375 in insurance and medical expenses; and
$107,683 in restaurant and food expenses.
By pleading guilty today, Barnes also agreed to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of her fraud, including $5,293,300, a 2014 Ford F150 Crew Cab Raptor 4WD, a 2014 Ford Explorer Utility 4D Sport 4WD and a 2013 Lincoln MKS.
Under federal statutes, Barnes is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole for wire fraud and up to 30 years in federal prison without parole for bank fraud, plus a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in federal prison without parole for aggravated identity theft. 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 Kathleen D. Mahoney. It was investigated by the FBI.