U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania
August 26, 2014

Accountant Sentenced to Probation with Home Detention for Fraud Schemes

ERIE, PA—A resident of Erie, has been sentenced in federal court to four years’ probation, 12 months home detention and ordered to make restitution in the amount of $11,471.34 on her conviction of wire fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge David S. Cercone imposed the sentence on Julie A. Wozniak, 34.

According to information presented to the court, from March 2013 to June 2013, Julie A. Wozniak devised a scheme to defraud St. Vincent’s hospital and Hilltop Beer by abusing her position as an accountant. Wozniak utilized a Saint Vincent’s purchasing card and made 62 separate unauthorized purchases for her own personal benefit and use, in the total amount of approximately $47,521.03, and increased the credit limit on the purchasing card from $12,000.00 to $30,000.00 in order to increase the volume of unauthorized purchases she was able to make. Wozniak also fabricated St. Vincent’s accounting records for the purchasing card, thereby concealing the unauthorized purchases she had made. Further, Wozniak utilized her access to St. Vincent’s bank accounts and made 22 unauthorized Automated Clearing House (ACH) debits from Saint Vincent’s operating bank account at M&T bank, in an additional amount of approximately $32,940.65.

In addition to the fraud against St. Vincent’s, the court was advised that Wozniak operated a private accounting business called “Keeping You Balanced” and used her position as an accountant to steal money from Hilltop Beer. Wozniak advised the owner of Hilltop Beer how much money she needed to have transferred into the Hilltop Beer payroll bank account in order for her to make payroll tax payments. After transfers of those amounts would be made to the payroll account, the defendant, without the knowledge or consent of the owner of Hilltop Beer, would write checks to herself from the payroll account in the amount that was supposed to be paid to the IRS for the payroll taxes of Hilltop Beer. In order to conceal the payroll account funds she had unlawfully taken from Hilltop Beer and had not paid to the IRS, Wozniak made ACH debits from St. Vincent’s operating bank account with S&T bank, and paid the payroll taxes for Hilltop Beer out of the St. Vincent’s account.

Finally, Wozniak used her access and authority over St. Vincent’s bank account at First Niagara and made 9 ACH debits to pay on her personal Capital One credit card accounts and her personal Amazon credit account in an additional amount of $10,778.69.

Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Wozniak.

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