Construction finance chief accused of stealing $1m to fund holidays and shopping sprees

The former chief financial officer of an unnamed employee-owned US construction company in Georgia has been charged with embezzling $1m to pay for her personal expenses, including $250,000 in flights, cruises, and other vacations, more than $100,000 in cash withdrawals, and $100,000 in retail purchases.

Carrie Harris, 53, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 June on charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

JC Hacker, acting special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, said Harris was accused of "abusing the trust of the company that hired her, causing significant losses to her fellow employees".

He added: "The FBI and our law enforcement partners will hold anyone accountable who chooses to line their pockets at the expense of the companies they work for."

Harris is charged with stealing the money from the firm, which is based in the City of Lithonia near Atlanta, between 2008 and 2013. Federal prosecutors allege that she issued more than 100 cheques ranging in value from $4,500 to $17,000.

She allegedly concealed her fraud from the company by falsifying entries in its ledgers.

US Attorney Byung Pak commented: "As thieves get more and more creative, employers must build in checks and balances to avoid turning over the ‘keys’ to the kingdom."

This case is being investigated by the Department of Labour – Employee Benefits Security Administration and the FBI.

Image: The City of Lithonia, where the unnamed construction firm was based (WRL)

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