|U.S. Attorney’s OfficeOctober 22, 2015|
OWENSBORO, KY—The former office manager of a Henderson, Kentucky law firm pleaded guilty to wire fraud in U.S. District Court yesterday before Chief Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr. for embezzling $264,867.84 during a 30-month period, announced U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.
According to the plea agreement, Krista Kaye Graupner, age 45, of Evansville, Indiana, committed wire fraud while employed at the law firm of King, Deep & Branaman (KDB) between June of 2012 and December of 2014.
As office manager, Graupner had access to KDB’s bank accounts and was authorized to write checks and initiate ACH payments out of these accounts. During her guilty plea, Graupner admitted to paying her own personal bills using KDB’s funds.
In October of 2014, Graupner also began wiring money from Henderson to various individuals in South Africa who were part of the scheme. Graupner admitted that she would write checks, either for cash or to herself, drawn upon KDB accounts and then use the cash from the KDB checks to wire the money via Western Union to individuals in South Africa. In perpetuating this crime, Graupner made approximately 200 wire transfers from October 2014 through December 2014.
Graupner is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief Judge McKinley in Owensboro on January 13, 2016 and could receive a combined maximum term of 60 years in prison, a maximum fine of $750,000, and a three-year period of supervised release.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nute A. Bonner and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Henderson Police Department.