Southern Ohio woman sentenced to prison for embezzling $700k from employer

CINCINNATI – A Sardinia, Ohio, woman was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to serve 28 months in prison for stealing more than $700,000 from the family-owned business for which she worked. She was also sentenced to pay restitution to the company.


Tina Coday-Townes, 49, pleaded guilty on October 20, 2022, to wire fraud.


According to court documents, Coday-Townes previously served as the office manager for a business in Clermont County. In that role, she was responsible for accounts payable and bookkeeping, including inputting and sending data to a third-party payroll company.


The defendant admitted that from 2013 until 2019, she wrote checks using an employers’ signature stamp to pay off her personal credit cards. Coday-Townes made false entries into the accounting database, indicating the checks were to vendors rather than to her personal credit cards.


In addition, Coday-Townes entered overtime hours for herself, even though she was ineligible for overtime as a salaried employee.


Her sentence calls for her to pay $697,000 in restitution to her former employer, $11,500 to the State of Ohio for fraudulently paid unemployment benefits, and $35,000 to West American Insurance Company.


Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and J. William Rivers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the sentence imposed today by Senior U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett. Assistant United States Attorney Ashley N. Brucato is representing the United States in this case.


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