DFW Woman Embezzles $29M from Employer

A Lewisville woman embezzled more than $29 million. | Image by Towfiqu Barbhuiya/Pexels.

A Lewisville woman pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Texas federal court to embezzling more than $29 million from her employer, according to a Thursday press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Barbara Chalmers, 74, worked as a bookkeeper for several companies, including a charitable foundation, run by a Dallas family.

Court documents revealed Chalmers admitted that since at least 2012, she abused her position and her “signatory authority over the companies’ bank accounts to fraudulently write herself at least 175 checks, which she deposited into her personal bank accounts.”

“In order to conceal her fraudulent conduct, she provided false paperwork to tax preparers misstating the year-end cash-on-hand numbers for various accounts from which she was embezzling,” the DOJ press release read. “She used more than $25 million of the stolen money to fund a construction business for which she was the president.”

Chalmers pleaded guilty on December 29 to one count of money laundering and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The DOJ said a federal district court judge will determine her sentence, but a sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

The FBI is continuing to investigate the case, which is being prosecuted by trial attorneys Vasanth Sridharan and Lucy Jennings of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston for the Eastern District of Texas, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division, and Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Dwyer of the FBI Dallas Field Office.

This story comes amidst rising crime in Dallas and growing concern among residents that the government is failing to properly enforce the law and ensure public safety. The Dallas Express has extensively reported on the rise in crime and the apparent failures of political leaders to effectively address it.

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  1. Brandon

    Seems like a light sentence possibility. 10 years for almost 30 million.

  2. E H

    Lock her up and throw away the key!

  3. Anna

    Imagine that a woman who was able to steal $29M from several companies then started her own construction business! Liberals always SOFT on CRIME showing our youth that it’s OK to break the law!!! Lock her up and let her live the rest of her criminal life in prison!!

    • Jai

      Lmao since when Dallas,TX is Liberal???? REPUBLICANS ARE MORONS

      • kevin

        Ever wonder why the democrat mascot is a Donkey? You showing a damn good example of one.

    • Nora sinclair

      You’re such the idiot..go eat some crow ..that woman is definitely your people a DA republican

      • kevin

        Looks like someone forgot to stay on their meds today.

    • Teru

      Karen, oh sorry, Anna…. not everything. has to do with politics

  4. Janet

    29 million is a lot of money to steal with only a 10 year sentence…
    Companies need to pay attention to details like this and have more controls in place, do more audits so they can catch dishonest employees.
    Most people are honest but this lady was brazenly dishonest!!!

  5. Logan

    Irresponsible corporations. You never let a signatory on your account do the reconciliations. A basic accounting protocol. The cat guarding the henhouse so to speak.

    • brenda

      yep, conflict of interest and obviously lack of audits.

  6. RITA


  7. Doodlebug

    Want a real story? Dig into McKinney TX. Police department. One word….CORRUPT. No one has successfully uncovered the abuse of authority and their failure to do their jobs. Not all cops, you have to dig deeper. Go higher. I hope someone who can investigate reads this.

  8. Rex Cumming

    The Dallas Express and many of their readers are obviously trying to make political points out of this, and rouse up others about “the failures of government,” when this is allegedly a premeditated fraud from a single person working for a few foundations. Now if you take that she’s in construction and a bookkeeper running foundations wealthy enough to miss loosing almost 30M how can anyone extrapolate anything “liberal” from that? Why do they (and some readers) use this story to levy insults on the government?Especially when so many of the FBI and other government officials deployed to catch the thief are featured! Will the foundations pay the government for all the cost and manpower they put into this personal crime against the foundations? Will their insurance companies? Most likely not.


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