Criminal Justice News

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Former Administrative Assistant Sentenced to 24 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing More Than $173,000 from Employer

Defendant Worked for Paul Engler of Cactus Feeders

AMARILLO, TX—Heather Peddy Carlton, 44, of Happy, Texas, was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $173,035.33 in restitution, following her guilty plea in May 2012 to one count of forging securities of an organization, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Carlton was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons by September 10, 2012.

According to documents filed in the case, from April 2008 until December 2011, while she was employed as the administrative assistant for Paul Engler of Cactus Feeders, Carlton was responsible for maintaining Engler’s bank accounts held at Amarillo National Bank. In early 2010, when Engler changed bookkeepers, it was discovered that Carlton had stolen a large sum of money from Engler’s accounts by writing dozens of unauthorized checks to herself and checks made payable to cash. She hid the thefts by making false entries into the accounting program and concealing the images of the unauthorized checks on bank statements or by replacing original bank statements with altered copies. Carlton admitted to the thefts and to forging Engler’s signature on some of the checks and using the money to pay for personal living expenses.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy L. Drake.

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