(Source: By Kim Norvell, St. Joseph News-Press, Mo. (MCT) -A local woman is facing 52 federal counts for allegedly fraudulently obtaining more than $900,000 from two Savannah, Mo., companies.
Vicky D. McDonell, 61, was indicted by a federal grand jury this week on 44 counts of wire fraud, four counts of bank fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and one count of providing a false statement. She faces 75 years in federal prison if convicted of all counts.
According to court documents, the scheme started in 1997 when Ms. McDonell became treasurer and partner of MPC Billboards Inc., a billboard sales company, and Max Pro Consultants Inc., a real estate company. Guy Defenbaugh, Fred Ramsay and James Morten own and operate the two businesses in Savannah, Mo.
“With virtually no oversight by Defenbaugh, Ramsay, and Morten, she kept the books, ran the office, did the financials, paid the bills, collected accounts receivable and handled all financial matter for both corporations,” the federal indictment states. “All three partners had trusted McDonell completely with handling all corporate finances.”
Ms. McDonell is accused of writing business checks for personal expenses, including auto payments, home landscaping and remodeling, and gifts, as well as unauthorized “loans.” Court documents state she also wrote company checks to her two children and mother, totaling more than $35,000, over 12 years.
The St. Joseph woman also fraudulently used the company credit card, and to cover up her personal expenses, had the statements sent to her home.
She allegedly furthered the scheme by overpaying her own corporate salary by approximately $392,695.
In FBI interviews, Ms. McDonell gave partial confessions to embezzling funds, but “drastically minimized” her involvement. She was arrested by the FBI Thursday morning without incident, said special agent Andy Thomure.
If convicted, Ms. McDonell will be forced to forfeit any property or proceeds obtained from the scheme up to $906,415.25, plus interest.
Kim Norvell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: .
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