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Press Release

Monroe Woman Is Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling Nearly $2.3 Million From Employer

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kristy Lawrence, 45, of Monroe, N.C., was sentenced today to 36 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for embezzling nearly $2.3 million from her employer, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney also ordered Lawrence to pay $$2,224,086 in restitution.

Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Sheriff Eddie Cathey of the Union County Sheriff’s Office, join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and court proceedings, from 2016 to April 2022, Lawrence was employed by a small family business located in Monroe. Over the course of her employment, Lawrence worked in a purchasing and accounting function for the business and handled the company’s books and records. Court records show that Lawrence misused her position to embezzle millions of dollars from the company. Lawrence carried out the scheme by making multiple unauthorized electronic transfers from the company’s bank account to pay outstanding balances on her credit card and to make other payments for her personal benefit. Lawrence covered up the fraud by using her position and access to falsify documents and make fraudulent accounting entries in the company’s books and records. Lawrence’s embezzlement scheme was uncovered after the defendant was on extended leave and another employee took over her responsibilities.

In reaching its sentence, the Court highlighted, among other things, the long-running nature of the scheme and the significant economic and emotional harm that Lawrence caused to her employer and her coworkers.

On December 19, 2023, Lawrence pleaded guilty to wire fraud. She remains free on bond and will be ordered to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving her sentence upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI in Charlotte and the Union County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Ryan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case. 

Updated June 25, 2024

Financial Fraud