Long-Time Friends Sentenced to Federal Prison for Embezzling from Tax Consulting Business
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 15, 2014|
DALLAS—Three women, who were involved in a scheme to embezzle money from one of their former employers in Dallas, have been sentenced, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Dallas residents Lamonica Phillips and Pamela Gail Willis, aka Pamela Gayle Knight, both 44, and Oklahoma City resident, Audrey Starr, 51, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Today, Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater sentenced Phillips to 24 months in federal prison and ordered her to pay approximately $171,000 in restitution. She must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on September 30, 2014.
In June, Willis was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison and ordered to pay approximately $75,000 in restitution. Also in June, Starr was sentenced to a two-year term of probation and ordered to pay nearly $60,000 in restitution.
According to documents filed in the case, Phillips and Willis devised and carried out a scheme to embezzle money from Phillips’ employer, Industry Consulting Group (ICG). Starr allegedly became a conspirator in the scheme through knowingly receiving and using stolen funds.
ICG is a tax consulting business based in Dallas that focuses on tax valuation of properties and the maintenance of tax portfolios. As part of their business ICG, on behalf of their clients, pays taxes on home mortgages and provides valuations of properties in order to contest tax appraisals.
As part of her duties, Phillips had access to ICG’s financial software, could prepare checks on behalf of ICG and was responsible for cashing and mailing checks to ICG’s customers. Phillips began the scheme to defraud ICG in March 2012, following a conversation with her good friend, Willis.
The FBI investigated and Assistant U.S. Attorney P. J. Meitl prosecuted.