Two Businessmen Plead Guilty To Wire Fraud Conspiracy For Orchestrating Large-Scale Investment Scheme
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Belmont, N.C. woman, with two prior federal embezzlement convictions, was sentenced to 57 months in prison today for executing back-to-back fraud schemes, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Lisa Buza Hill, a/k/a Lisa Rollins-Hill, 43, will also have to serve three years under court supervision after she is released from prison.
Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in North Carolina, and Chief Johnny Jennings, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
According to court documents and court proceedings, in October 2012, Hill (at the time Rollins-Hill), was convicted of federal wire fraud for stealing more than $800,000 from her then-employer, a motorcycle company headquartered in Kings Mountain, N.C. At the time, Hill was ordered to serve a five-month probationary term followed by three years of supervised release and to pay $807,506.39 in restitution to the victim company.
In July 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed new charges against Hill, for embezzling funds from a Charlotte-based company where Hill worked as a Controller. According to court documents filed in this case, from September 2019 to February 2020, and while still paying restitution for the 2012 embezzlement scheme, Hill misused her access to her employer’s financial system, including her authority to issue company checks, and defrauded the company by fraudulently issuing herself approximately 15 company checks totaling over $22,000. During this time, Hill also made false statements to the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s attempts to collect court-ordered restitution owed by Hill in connection with her 2012 conviction.
In June 2021, while Hill’s criminal charges for the fraudulent check scheme were still pending, a federal bill of information was also filed against Hill, charging her with embezzling more than $550,000 from her latest employer, a development company located in Rock Hill, S.C., identified in court documents as R.W. According to court documents, from May 2020 to January 2021, Hill was employed by R.W. as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In that position, Hill had access to the company’s bank accounts, and her duties included the ability to make payments on behalf of the company. As court documents show, Hill misused her position and access to the company’s financial records to make unauthorized payments to herself, including to make transfers from R.W.’s accounts to pay for Hill’s personal expenses. In total, Hill transferred more than $550,000 in unauthorized funds from R.W. for her personal benefit. As Hill previously admitted in court, she used the embezzled funds to make payments for a BMW vehicle, to pay for a trip to Disney World, to make mortgage payments and to settle misuse of funds allegations from previous employers.
According to court filings and statements made during the sentencing hearing, some of the funds embezzled from R.W. were also used to make settlement payments to two additional prior employers.
In announcing today’s sentence, U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. emphasized the defendant’s “brazenness in continuing to steal from people while still on bond,” and noted the importance of “specific deterrence.”