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.