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Press Release

NKC Woman Indicted for Stealing from Employer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A North Kansas City, Mo., woman has been indicted for embezzling $116,367 from her employer.

Tonya Topel, 41, was charged in an 11-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.

According to the indictment, Topel worked at SunSource Homes, Inc., from October 2016 to April 2018 as the officer manager and accountant.

The federal indictment alleges that Topel began embezzling from SunSource a month after she was hired, using several different methods.

Topel allegedly made $47,665 in unauthorized purchases on SunSource business credit cards, including purchasing an airline ticket for her boyfriend. Topel allegedly also issued $40,955 in unauthorized checks to herself. Topel allegedly claimed $19,713 in unauthorized or fraudulent expense reimbursements and allegedly created extra paychecks for herself totaling $5,283. In December 2017, Topel allegedly cashed an unauthorized $2,745 check from SunSource.

The indictment alleges Topel embezzled at least $116,367 from SunSource. According to the indictment, she used the embezzlement proceeds to travel, including to the Bahamas, Arizona, Boston, and Florida. She also used the embezzlement proceeds for retail purchases, restaurants, pets, vehicles, overdraft fees, and to pay her attorney.

The federal indictment charges Topel with two counts of money laundering, related to the payments to her attorney made with stolen funds, and nine counts of wire fraud. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Topel to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged offenses, including a money judgment of $116,367.

The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges 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 Kathleen D. Mahoney. It was investigated by the FBI.

Updated December 14, 2018

Financial Fraud