HomeTop StoriesHickory woman accused of embezzling $900,000

Hickory woman accused of embezzling $900,000

Aug. 22 – A federal grants jury in Charlotte has indicted Michelle Wilshire, 48, of Hickory on multiple counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and money laundering, alleging she embezzled more than $900,000 from her employer.

The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Dena J. King for the Western District of North Carolina, in conjunction with Donald “Trey” Eakins, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Charlotte Field Office, and Tommy D. Coke, inspector in charge of the Atlanta division of the US Postal Inspection Service, which oversees Charlotte.

Allegations in the indictment show that from 2016 to 2012, Wilshire was employed by a Conover family business, which was not disclosed but identified in court documents as Company A.

At the time, Wilshire was in charge of the company’s Comdata account, which handles third-party payment processing and issuance of debit cards that the company used for fleet management and payment services for its drivers.

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The indictment alleges Wilshire carried out a scheme to defraud her employer by issuing multiple Comdata prepaid debit cards in her name and in the names of others, including former employees, fictitious employees and current employees who were unaware the cards existed, it said. King’s office. .

Wilshire allegedly arranged for Comdata to load money onto the prepaid debit cards, which the defendant then withdrew via ATM withdrawals. Between November 2017 and July 2021, Wilshire is reported to have withdrawn more than $528,000 from prepaid Comdata debit cards.

In addition to the debit card scheme, Wilshire also allegedly misappropriated corporate funds by using Comdata’s Comchek and Comchek Mobile services to issue checks in the defendant’s name and make multiple transfers to Wilshire’s personal bank account, totaling more than than $315,000, according to King’s office.

Wilshire also allegedly arranged for more than $58,000 in company funds to be transferred through Comdata to the bank account of a former employee of the company.

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According to allegations in the suit, Wilshire also prepared and filed individual income tax returns for tax years 2017 through 2021, which did not include the additional funds Wilshire received through its embezzlement scheme.

Wilshire faces six counts of bank fraud, which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per charge; five counts of filing and endorsing a false tax return, carrying a maximum legal prison sentence of one year per charge; and two counts of money laundering, which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.

The charges in the indictment are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a court of law, King said.

Wilshire’s first court appearance in Charlotte is scheduled for Tuesday, August 29 at 10:15 a.m

King thanked the efforts of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division staff and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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Assistant US Attorney Mike Savage and Special Assistant US Attorney Eric Frick of the US Attorney’s Office in Charlotte are pursuing the case.

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