MISSOULA – A Trout Creek woman convicted of embezzling more than $650,000 while working for a Trout Creek company was sentenced today to four years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Tina Rae Wood, 49, pleaded guilty in November 2021 to wire fraud.
U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided. Judge Molloy also ordered $650,843 in restitution and allowed Wood to self-report to the Bureau of Prisons.
The government alleged in court documents that Wood was hired in 2013 by a supply company in Trout Creek as an office administrator and secretary. Wood eventually became in charge of depositing payments from customers and had access to the company’s accounting system. For almost five years, Wood used the accounting software to embezzle checks from one of the company’s biggest customers and deposited most of the stolen money into a personal bank account she opened in a bank in Thompson Falls. Wood blamed the company’s accounting software for her misdeeds, and she ordered deposit slips for her personal bank account that referenced the company name, likely to avoid scrutiny from bank personnel. In February 2019, when the company’s owner realized something was amiss, he contacted Wood. Wood refused to talk to the owner and cleaned out her desk the next weekend. An investigation found 109 customer checks, totaling about $650,843, that Wood had deposited into her own account.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.