Texas Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty in $29 Million Fraud Scheme

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Barbara Chalmers, 74, of Lewisville, Texas woman pleaded guilty today in the Eastern District of Texas for a scheme to embezzle at least $29 million from her employer – a charitable foundation and several other companies run by a Dallas family.

Chalmers admitted that starting in at least 2012, she abused her position as bookkeeper for the family’s companies and her signatory authority over the companies’ bank accounts to fraudulently write herself at least 175 checks, which she deposited into her personal accounts. In order to conceal her fraudulent conduct, she provided false paperwork to tax preparers misstating the year-end cash-on-hand numbers for the various accounts from which she was embezzling. She used more than $25 million of the stolen money to fund a construction business for which she was the president.

She pled guilty to one count of money laundering and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison at sentencing. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas

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