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Press Release

Former Bookkeeper For Chickasha Electrical Contractor To Serve 30 Months In Prison And Pay $336,950 In Restitution For Embezzlement

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

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – TAMARA HOUSLEY (a/k/a "Tami Housley"), of Louden, Tennessee, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Joe Heaton to serve 30 months in prison for embezzling from her employer by committing wire fraud and for filing a false income tax return, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. In addition, Housley was ordered to pay $336,950 in restitution.

Housley worked as a bookkeeper for an electrical contracting firm in Chickasha, Oklahoma. As bookkeeper, Housley’s duties included preparing checks, documenting accounts payable and receivable, inputting new employees into the payroll system, authorizing automatic draft payroll deductions, paying company taxes, and collecting mail. Although she was not authorized to sign company checks, she prepared checks for all payments, including business credit card statements. Housley also had exclusive access to the company payroll account.

According to court records, Housley starting using business credit cards in 2006 to make unauthorized personal purchases and directed payments to her personal PayPal account, pay her personal utility bills, cable television and cell phone bills, and purchase concert tickets. Housley had exclusive access to the company mail and withheld the monthly credit card statements from her boss and, when she resigned, even changed the billing address on one card to her home address. Starting in 2007, according to court records, Housley used her access to the company payroll account to fraudulently add her boyfriend to the weekly payroll as a "ghost employee." Housley was also charged with filing a false tax returns.

Housley was indicted on February 6, 2014. On April 22, 2014, she pled guilty to committing wire fraud and filing a false income tax return for 2010. She was sentenced today to serve 30 months in prison, followed by three years supervised release, and ordered to pay $336,950 in restitution to her employer and the IRS.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julia E. Barry and Mark A. Yancey.

Updated December 15, 2014