Woodstock Woman Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Defrauding Company of Nearly $900,000
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 21, 2009|
BIRMINGHAM—A Woodstock woman pleaded guilty today in federal court to fraud and tax charges connected to her embezzling nearly $900,000 from the development company where she worked, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance jointly with FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick Maley, U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Martin D. Phanco and IRS Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigations, Reginael D. McDaniel.
DAPHNE MILLER BROOKS, 50, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of mail fraud, securities fraud and under-reporting income on federal income tax forms. She also agreed to forfeit $878,480 to the government.
Brooks was the office manager and sole bookkeeper for a Jefferson County company, Equity Development Corporation, a subsidiary of McDonald Management, Inc. From at least June 2006 through March 2008, Brooks stole money from the company by forging company checks and depositing them into her personal bank account and by mailing unauthorized credit card payments to various companies.
“Crimes involving mail fraud, securities fraud and IRS violations work great harm to the immediate victims and undermine the integrity of the country’s banking and internal revenue systems,” Vance said. “This office is committed to prosecuting these type cases.”
A federal grand jury indicted Brooks in October on 14 counts. She pleaded guilty to 10 of the original counts. She pleaded guilty to: three mail fraud counts, for unauthorized credit card payments between June 2006 and February 2007 and four securities fraud counts, for forging and depositing Equity Development Corporation checks between April 2005 and March 2008.
Brooks also pleaded guilty to two counts of willfully reporting false income on a federal tax return. She was charged with reporting $36,821 instead of $153,647 on a 2007 tax form, and with reporting $26,000 rather than $137,031 on a 2008 form. She pleaded guilty to one forfeiture count.
Vance commended the work of the FBI, the Postal Inspection Service and the IRS, which led to Brook’s prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank M. Salter prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.