An Indiana resident will have to serve 320 hours of community service after pleading guilty to embezzling money from her former employer. The embezzling resident admitted to stealing more than $455,000 to pay for her student loans, rent on two different homes, medical bills, and trips to Florida and Hawaii.
The Indiana resident was a senior accountant for Mobile Drill in Indianapolis; from July 2014 to January 2017, she wrote 137 fraudulent checks. She wrote the checks to herself and forged the president’s signature on the checks. She hid her wrongdoing by making the checks look like legitimate expenses in the company’s accounting software.
But during an end of the year review of the company’s 2016 financial records, executives discovered some discrepancies in reporting. After discovering a suspicious-looking expense account, company President Tim Sabo contacted the vendors listed. That’s when it was discovered that the invoice numbers in the system didn’t match the invoices supplied by the vendors.
Along with the company’s Chief Financial Officer Matthew Cole, Sabo presented the employee with the evidence and fired her. In February, the company reported the theft to the police who made the arrest and pressed charges of four felony counts of forgery.
Last week, she pled guilty and was sentenced to eight years of probation and 320 hours of community service. The judge also ordered her to pay a restitution of $96,000; this will be repaid at $1,000 per month for the next eight years.
In a statement, Marion County prosecutor Tim Curry stressed the importance of holding employees accountable for theft. He added, “Small business owners face many challenges, and entrusting an employee to appropriately manage the company’s finances should not be one.”
This isn’t the first case of embezzling money from an employer in order to pay back student loan debt. Last November, a woman was charged with stealing $37,000 from the Starbucks where she worked as a manager. She claimed that she stole the money to pay off $85,000 in student loans and credit card debt.
And a former comptroller was caught embezzling more than $650,000 from her employer. She claimed she used the money to pay for her student loans, credit card debt, and other household expenses.
With $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, student loans are a growing concern in the United States. It remains to be seen if these scams to pay for student loan will turn into a growing trend among consumers.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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