Em­bez­zler gets 15 months in prison

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

A Pottstown woman who pleaded guilty to fraud in con­nec­tion with the theft or more than $1 mil­lion from a fam­ily-owned fur­ni­ture busi­ness has been sen­tenced to 15 months in prison, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice in Philadel­phia.

Christina Svanda, 46, of Pottstown, pleaded guilty to charges stem­ming from her schemes to de­fraud her em­ployer, who was not iden­ti­fied in court pa­pers. Svanda was em­ployed as the fi­nan­cial man­ager for a fur­ni­ture busi­ness with store lo­ca­tions in Pottstown and Ch­ester Springs, ac­cord­ing to court records.

She pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of fil­ing a false in­di­vid­ual in­come tax re­turn, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

In ad­di­tion to serv­ing 15 months in prison, Svanda was sen­tenced to three years of su­per­vised re­lease. Svanda was also or­dered to pay resti­tu­tion in the amount of $1,025,805 to the busi­ness and the busi­ness’ in­sur­ance com­pany, as well as $184,826 to the IRS, ac­cord­ing to Nneka Suther­land, a spe­cial agent with the IRS Philadel­phia field of­fice.

When she was charged, Svanda faced a max­i­mum pos­si­ble statu­tory sen­tence of 43 years in prison, a fine up to $750,000, a $300 spe­cial as­sess­ment, three years of su­per­vised re­lease, and full resti­tu­tion of as much as $1,050,029, ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment of Jus­tice.

In Au­gust 2009, Svanda be­gan writ­ing checks from the fur­ni­ture busi­ness’ bank ac­count at Downingtown Na­tional Bank to cover her per­sonal credit card bills, ac­cord­ing to author­i­ties.

Be­tween Au­gust 2009 and May 2015, Svanda stole ap­prox­i­mately $858,669 from the fur­ni­ture busi­ness’ bank ac­count to pay her per­sonal credit card bills. Svanda also de­frauded the fur­ni­ture busi­ness by wrong­fully in­creas­ing her pay by a to­tal of $191,359 be­tween 2009 and 2015. The fur­ni­ture com­pany used a third-party pay­roll ser­vice, ac­cord­ing to the Jus­tice De­part­ment.

This case was in­ves­ti­gated by the FBI and the IRS and pros­e­cuted by As­sis­tant United States At­tor­ney Karen Grigsby.

Be­tween Au­gust 2009 and May 2015, Svanda stole ap­prox­i­mately $858,669 from the fur­ni­ture busi­ness’ bank ac­count to pay her per­sonal credit card bills.

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