Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Half Million Dollars from Farwell Funeral Service

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CONCORD – A North Carolina woman pleaded guilty today in federal court to charges arising out of her embezzlement of funds from her previous employer, Farwell Funeral Service in Nashua, U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young announces.

LaSaundra Simmons, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.  U.S. District Court Joseph Laplante scheduled sentencing for August 29, 2024. 

Simmons worked as the bookkeeper for Farwell Funeral Service, Inc. for several years. Starting in 2015, and continuing until it was discovered in January 2023, Simmons employed a scheme to embezzle funds from the company. On more than 100 occasions, she either made unauthorized wire transfers of funds from the funeral home’s bank account to her own account, or drafted unauthorized checks which she deposited by electronic wire transfer into her own account. She would often describe these checks as “commissions” or “consulting fees.” She embezzled more than $500,000 over the course of the scheme.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  Restitution is mandatory.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Nashua Police Department led the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Rombeau is prosecuting the case.

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