Rhode Island Woman Sentenced for $1 Million Embezzlement and Tax Fraud Scheme

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BOSTON – A Rhode Island woman was sentenced yesterday for embezzling more than $1 million from her employer and failing to pay more than $260,000 in taxes on those funds. 

Barbara Levy, 50, of Portsmouth, R.I., was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to 32 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Levy was also ordered to pay $1,319,849 in restitution, which includes $260,982 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). On Jan. 27, 2021, Levy pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. 

Levy worked as an office manager at a New Bedford-based company. Between December 2012 and October 2019, Levy forged 1,134 checks to herself from her employer’s bank accounts, totaling $1,058,867, and deposited the funds into her own account or cashed them. Levy hid her scheme by altering monthly bank statements, substituting the names of legitimate purported payees in place of her own name to make it appear as though the checks had been written for a valid purpose. Levy also failed to report the funds she embezzled on her federal income tax returns. 

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Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Ramsey E. Covington, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen A. Kearney of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.


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