HR Strange But True!
July 27, 2006

Pretend you are an employee who decides to exploit a situation in which you can grant yourself unauthorized raises and use company funds to make a bunch of personal purchases. How much would you take? Would you keep it small to avoid detection? Federal prosecutors say an office manager in Kansas went big, really big.

Prosecutors allege that Sheryl L. Wilson, office manager at the Center for Sight of Northeast Kansas, gave herself unauthorized raises and bonuses that increased her annual salary from $60,000 to $250,000.

Wilson also went on a spending spree that included remodeling her house and paying for her daughter's wedding with money stolen from her employer, prosecutors allege. In total, Wilson stole more than $360,000 from the center, prosecutors allege.

A federal grand jury recently handed down an indictment of Wilson on 36 counts of bank fraud and 4 counts of credit card fraud. The indictment alleges:

  • She took unauthorized trips to Hawaii on the company's dime.
  • She used the center's funds to purchase gifts, quilts, a car, a boat, new cars and homes for her children, and to remodel her own home, and to pay for her daughter's wedding.
  • She obtained credit cards in the name of one of the center's doctors without his authorization and used them to pay bills and purchase goods.

If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on each count of bank fraud, and a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of credit card fraud.

Prosecutors also want to Wilson to repay $360,829.07.

Source: Justice Department

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