Hobart's Lucy Owens sentenced in $800K theft

Contributed By:The 411 News

Part of a scheme that diverted funds from her employer

Lucy Owens, 42, of Hobart, Indiana, was sentenced before District Court Judge Joseph S. VanBokkelen, announced U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch II. Owens was convicted on 7 counts of wire fraud after 5-day jury trial that took place in May 2018.

Owens received a sentence of 57 months in prison, 1 year of supervised release and was ordered to pay $820,483.66 in restitution with $324,438.50 of that amount to be owed jointly and severally with co-defendant Kirk Stroh.

“The great work of the Hammond Police Department has brought this case to a successful conclusion with an order of restitution and significant prison time,” said U.S. Attorney Kirsch. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and law enforcement partners will continue to hold people accountable for their actions when they choose to take advantage of others.”

According to records in the case, between 2010 and 2015, Owens diverted over $800,000 from her employer, a Hammond-based freight services company, through two schemes to defraud. In one scheme, Owens used her position as the company’s accounts payable clerk to fraudulently pay over $460,000 in personal credit card bills from the company’s bank account. In the second scheme, Owens used her position as the administrator of the company’s diesel fuel card program to help two individuals obtain over $330,000 in unauthorized cash advances at truck stops.

One of the individuals, Kirk Stroh, also from Hobart, Indiana, was a truck driver for a rival trucking company. Owens helped Stroh obtain over $290,000 in fraudulent cash advances at a truck stop in Lake Station, Indiana, in increments of $800 per day. Stroh, a co-defendant in the case, who previously pled guilty, split the proceeds with Owens. In addition to paying her personal credit card debt funds stolen from her employer, Owens used her portion of the stolen funds to pay for frequent family vacations, dining, clothing, jewelry, home improvements, and other items.

This case was investigated by the Hammond Police Department and handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Abizer Zanzi and Nathaniel Whalen.

Story Posted:09/11/2019

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