Lee's Summit Woman Sentenced for 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 was sentenced in federal court today for embezzling nearly $5.3 million from her employer.
Jane Barnes, 54, of Lee’s Summit, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to eight years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Barnes to pay $5,293,300 in victim restitution. Barnes has paid partial restitution by turning over three properties bought and/or improved using proceeds from her fraud scheme, plus her profit sharing account with former employer ACI Boland Architects.
On Aug. 2, 2016, Barnes pleaded guilty to 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. Barnes abused her position of trust as the office manager for ACI Boland in order to enrich herself. Barnes fraudulently stole money from ACI Boland and forged the signature of a principal partner on hundreds of occasions over a 10-year period.
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.
Barnes used the stolen money to travel, buy cars, furnish her house, eat out, give money to relatives and generally live well above her means. The investigation revealed Barnes’ spending of the stolen funds included:
- $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.
Under the terms of her plea agreement, Barnes must forfeit to the government $5,293,300, a 2014 Ford F150 Crew Cab Raptor 4WD, a 2014 Ford Explorer Utility 4D Sport 4WD and a 2013 Lincoln MKS, all of which was derived from the proceeds of her fraud.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen D. Mahoney. It was investigated by the FBI.