Former Employee of Touchstone Medical Imaging, LLC Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $1.2 Million
NASHVILLE, TN—Michelle Nixon, 48, of Chicago, Illinois, formerly of Nashville, pleaded guilty today to a scheme to defraud her former employer of more than $1.2 million, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Nixon pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger.
During the plea hearing, Nixon admitted that, from June 2009 until August 2013, she embezzled more than $1.2 million from Touchstone Medical Imaging LLC, a provider of medical imaging services based in Brentwood, Tennessee, where she served as the Regional Controller. Nixon admitted generating fraudulent checks totaling more than $1,178,000 that were made payable to a company that she owned, despite lacking any permission or authority to do so and despite the fact that her company provided no goods or services to Touchstone. Nixon also admitted generating additional fraudulent checks that were made payable to herself and to taking steps to conceal her fraud, including making false entries in the corporate ledger. Nixon used funds derived from the fraudulent checks to purchase automobiles, jewelry, luxury items, and other goods.
On February 14, 2014, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized various items from Nixon’s residence in Nashville that had been purchased with proceeds from the fraud. Among the items seized were a Mercedes Benz sedan, a Range Rover sport utility vehicle, jewelry, fur coats, and various luxury items sold by Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Jimmy Choo, Versace, and others.
Nixon is presently scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Trauger on October 16, 2014. She faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, and has also agreed to pay restitution to Touchstone in the amount of $1,283,269.51 and to forfeit the proceeds of her crime to the United States.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Abely.