Midland Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing Over $1.5M from Employer
In Midland today, 47-year-old bookkeeper Mary Elisa “Lisa” Salazar pleaded guilty to stealing over $1.5 million from her employer, an oil well leasing company in Midland, announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Troy Caldron; and, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr., El Paso Division.
Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Counts, Salazar pleaded guilty to a two-count Information charging her with one count of wire fraud and one count of making and filing a false Income Tax return.
By pleading guilty, Salazar admitted that from 2011 to 2016, she embezzled funds from the business by writing unauthorized company checks to herself. She further admitted to concealing her actions by either falsifying bank reconciliation statements or omitting the checks in the internal accounting system. The estimated loss to the company because of her illegal scheme is $1,588,518.
Salazar also admitted to filing false Income Tax returns for calendar years 2011 to 2016 in which she substantially understated her total income, adjusted gross income and taxable income. According to court records, Salazar owes the Internal Revenue Service an estimated $540,000 in unpaid taxes due to her underreporting.
Salazar remains on bond pending sentencing. No sentencing date has been scheduled. Salazar faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the wire fraud charge and up to three years in federal prison for the tax charge.
The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted this investigation.