Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Payroll Administrator Indicted For Embezzling More Than $200,000 From Non-Profit Company

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Today, a federal grand jury in Charlotte returned a criminal bill of indictment against Susan Watson, 41, of Gastonia, N.C., charging her with wire fraud, for embezzling at least $200,000 from her employer, the North and South Carolina Division of a Non-Profit Company, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Reginald A. DeMatteis, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Charlotte Field Office, joins U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to allegations contained in the indictment, beginning in July 2015, Watson was employed as a payroll administrator for the North and South Carolina Division of a Non-Profit Company (Company A), at their office in Charlotte, N.C.  Company A’s employees received their paychecks through pre-paid debit cards, direct deposit, and by check.  As payroll administrator, Watson knew which employees were paid by pre-paid debit card and which were paid by direct deposit and check. Watson was also responsible for providing payroll information to Company A’s payroll processors, who used the information to load the employees’ pre-paid debit cards by drawing funds from Company A’s bank account.

The indictment alleges that from 2015 through November 2018, Watson exploited her position as payroll administrator to embezzle money from her employer, by using the personal identification information of Company A’s current and former employees to create fraudulent pre-paid debit cards in their names. Once the pre-paid debit cards were created, Watson loaded funds onto the pre-paid debit cards by logging in and accessing the payroll processors’ dedicated web portals to transmit and submit payroll information.  After activating the pre-paid debit cards, the indictment alleges that Watson used the pre-paid debit cards for her personal benefit, including to make ATM cash withdrawals.  In total, Watson embezzled at least $200,000 from the non-profit.

A federal summons for Watson has been issued.  The wire fraud charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. 

All charges contained in the indictment are allegations.  The defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the United States Secret Service for their investigation of this case, and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department for
their invaluable assistance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Caryn Finley of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated July 19, 2019

Financial Fraud