Former Office Manager Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Forgery and Signing a False Tax Return
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—ERIN MARIE WELLS, of Yukon, Oklahoma, was sentenced to serve 27 months in prison for check forgery and signing a false federal income tax return, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
From 2009 until mid-2013, Wells was employed as the office manager of Advanced Electric, located in Oklahoma City. She was responsible for paying the company’s bills, depositing checks into the company bank account, and maintaining the company’s books and records. On May 12, 2014, she pled guilty to forging the signature of the company’s owner on a $1,500 check and using the proceeds for her personal benefit. In a plea agreement, she agreed to pay restitution to the company in the amount of $256,857.76. At the same hearing, Wells pled guilty to signing a false tax return. She admitted that on January 11, 2013, she signed a personal federal tax return for the 2012 calendar year that she knew was false because it reported only $28,386 in total income, substantially less than the income she actually received.
At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot ordered that Wells be incarcerated for 27 months. The sentence was based in part on the fact that Wells embezzled more than a quarter of a million dollars over several years while holding a position of trust in the company. It was also based on a total loss to the IRS of $51,145.00 during three tax years. Following her 27-month sentence, Wells was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and perform 104 hours of community service. The sentence also requires her to pay a total of $308,002.76 to Advanced Electric and the IRS.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott E. Williams.