Former Belton Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing $471,000 from Employer
KANSAS CITY, MO—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Belton, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to embezzling $471,000 from her employer.
Kimberly Joyce Padgett, 42, of Osawatomie, Kan., formerly of Belton, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to a federal information that charges her with five counts of wire fraud.
By pleading guilty today, Padgett admitted that she embezzled approximately $471,000 from her employer, Reliant Financial Services in Kansas City, Mo. As part of Padgett’s duties at Reliant Financial Services, she managed the business’s books, paid the bills, managed the accounts receivable, operated the telephones, and prepared the paychecks. Padgett was also a signor on the business’s bank accounts and had use of the business’s credit cards for authorized business expenses. Padgett was terminated from employment in March 2015 when the fraud scheme was discovered.
During 2007 up to and including 2015, Padgett embezzled money from the Reliant Financial Services bank account intended for payroll tax and office supplies. Padgett wrote $350,000 in checks to herself and deposited those funds into her personal PayPal account and her husband’s bank account. Padgett used her PayPal account to pay for trips around America for herself, and at least once for a coworker, the coworker’s daughter, Padgett’s daughter, and others. She also used her company credit card in an unauthorized manner by paying expenses for herself and others, including clothing, jewelry, gasoline, vacations, hotels, and restaurants.
From 2012 to 2015, Padgett made little to no payments in payroll taxes. Company owners had no knowledge the payroll taxes were not paid, and did not learn the taxes were not paid until they were contacted by the IRS.
Padgett is charged with five specific instances of wire fraud in which she made unauthorized wire transfers, ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, between April 2013 and February 2015.
Under federal statutes, Padgett is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution on each of the five counts. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Pansing Brown. It was investigated by the FBI.