Georgia Woman Sentenced To 2 Years For Embezzling Over $1.2m From Former Employer

By: Asia Simone Burns, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution



Authorities said it is “startling” how much money a North Georgia woman stole from her now-bankrupt former employer.

Jeanette Elizabeth Ford, 46, was sentenced to federal prison after she pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1.27 million from Classic Party Rentals.“

(Classic Party Rentals) was one of the nation’s largest event rental companies,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak said. “CPR operated throughout the United States under the names of Classic Tents, Ducky-Bob’s, Panache, Festive Fare and Capital Party Rentals.

”The California-based company has since gone bankrupt; it liquidized in 2017, Pak said.

But since 2015, Ford had been working remotely from her Blue Ridge home as an operations controller in the accounting and finance department of the company. Pak said she was responsible for reconciling and recording employee’s corporate credit card transactions with the Classic Party Rentals accounting records.

For more than a year, Pak said Ford charged over $1.27 million in unauthorized personal expenses to a credit card in her name, and used her position to hid those charges from her supervisors and colleagues.

“Ford manipulated transaction reports from MasterCard, the corporate credit card company, by deleting the unauthorized transactions from MasterCard spreadsheets and then presenting the manipulated data to conceal the credit card transactions,” Pak said. “Ford also recorded fraudulent entries within the accounting system.”

Ford also circumvented company policy by not linking her company credit card to Classic Party Rentals’ expense reporting software, Pak said.

“Ford abused her position of trust and embezzled a startling amount of money from her employer,” Pak said. “Over 15 months, Ford managed to steal and spend over $1.2 million— on expensive vacations, the renovation and furnishing of a mountain home, and personal items for herself and her family.”

Ford will spend two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. She has also been ordered to pay restitution to the victims, Pak said.

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