Connoquenessing Resident Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison for $1.67 Million Embezzlement and Filing False Tax Returns
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Connoquenessing, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court on January 30, 2024, to 51 months in prison and three years of supervised release on her convictions for wire fraud and making false statements on her tax returns, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.
United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on Constance Stobert, 58.
According to information presented to the court, Stobert worked as a controller for a company called Mechanical Operations Company (MOC) from 1994 until July 2021. Between January 2014 and July 2018, Stobert stole at least $1,678,893 in MOC’s assets to pay for her personal expenses. Among other things, Stobert wrote checks from MOC’s business banking accounts to make personal credit card payments and used MOC’s credit cards to withdraw cash at ATMs in casinos located in Pittsburgh and Las Vegas. Stobert also admitted that, during the tax years 2016 through and including 2019, she willfully and knowingly filed false tax returns, in which she failed to report the money she embezzled from MOC, resulting in a tax loss to the government of $545,990.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Schwab stated that Stobert caused substantial financial hardship to MOC and its owners and noted that Stobert’s crimes were intentional, serious, and occurred over a substantial period of time. Judge Schwab also stressed that efforts to portray the defendant as the victim were not convincing and that, given the seriousness of the offenses, defense counsel’s request for a sentence of home incarceration “is a bridge too far.”
“The victim entrusted Ms. Stobert with unfettered access to corporate funds, and, for years, she betrayed that trust by stealing more than $1.5 million and taking deliberate steps to cover up her theft,” said U.S. Attorney Olshan. “This type of deception will not be tolerated, and bringing the perpetrators of such financial crimes to justice will continue to be an important part of the work of this office and our partners in law enforcement.”
“Ms. Stobert used her position to fund her lavish lifestyle and while doing so not only defrauded her employer, but honest hardworking Americans who pay their tax obligations every year,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Kevin Rojek. “This sentencing should serve as reminder to anyone willing to take advantage of their employment to steal funds - the FBI will ensure you are held accountable in the criminal justice system.”
“No matter the source of the income, all income is taxable, and accurate tax returns must be filed,” said Philadelphia Field Office Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty. “Constance Stobert embezzled from her employer for years and failed to report the stolen funds on her personal income tax returns. The prosecution of individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes is always a priority for IRS-CI.”
Assistant United States Attorney Karen Gal-Or prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
United States Attorney Olshan commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Stobert.
Updated January 31, 2024