Accused Embezzler Pleads Guilty

An Iowa worker has admitted to stealing nearly a half-million dollars from her employer.

Thirty-eight-year old Stacey Lynne Gross of Adel plead guilty Friday to mail fraud and tax fraud charges arising out of her embezzlement of at least $480,000 from her employer. Gross was the office manager for Data Business Equipment, Inc. in Des Moines between late 2007 and early 2011.

Her job responsibilities included writing checks from the company account to pay for business expenses. Gross admitted in her plea agreement that she wrote at least 190 unauthorized checks totaling more than $480,000 from the company account for her own personal benefit during her employment.

She wrote checks to her credit card company and mortgage lender and to pay for furniture, jewelry and other personal expenses. She admitted to using the United States mail to send some of the fraudulent checks to her creditors and to failing to report the illegal income on her tax returns.

Gross admitted to making false entries in the company’s books to conceal her embezzlement. She would enter the name of a real Data Business Equipment vendor as the “payee” on the company’s general ledgers for checks she had actually written to her own creditors.

Gross will be sentenced on February 17, 2012. The crime of mail fraud carries maximum penalties of 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine.

Data Business Equipment President Waldo Geiger issued the following statement:

"I am thankful for the resolution of this very unfortunate issue. When I discovered that our office manager had been stealing from our company, I was shocked and saddened. With today’s action, all of us in the Data Business Equipment family look forward to putting this issue behind us.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Urbandale Police Department and Detective Dwight Taylor for their fine investigative work on this matter. Since the embezzlement scheme of Mrs. Gross came to light, Detective Taylor and his team have worked closely with us to gather facts and uncover the truth. Additionally, I sincerely appreciate the action taken by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa to address the wrongdoing of this former employee. The prosecutors have been responsive, thorough and professional and for that I am grateful.

While this has been a difficult time for our family-owned business, we are thankful to have had insurance in place which covered a good portion of the theft. Data Business Equipment customers have not been impacted and our commitment to providing them the highest quality service has been steadfast. We are gratified by the support we continue to receive from our customers and the local community."

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