Embezzler gets 15 months in prison
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.