INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Shelby County woman has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion after being accused of stealing over $1.8 million from her employers.
Investigators say Julie Ann Ashman, 43, embezzled the money for more than four and a half years from a small business in southern Indiana where she worked as a bookkeeper. Investigators said the company repaired and refurbished x-ray medical equipment.
Ashman allegedly used her position to cut checks to herself for between $3,000 and $5,000 up to 15 times per month. Ashman’s responsibilities included recording all deposits and payments in the company’s ledger. She also had access to the company’s checkbook. To conceal the missing money, she downplayed the company’s revenue on its ledgers. Ashman also falsified the checks’ memo lines to make them seem like legitimate business expenses.
In addition, Ashman allegedly failed to report to the IRS or pay taxes on the money she stole. She withheld any reference to the payments to herself from the company’s books. That prevented the company from issuing a W-2 or 1099 form to her. None of Ashman’s tax returns made reference to the money.
According to the complaint, Ashman wrote a total of 436 company checks to herself for a total of $1,805,015.12. She evaded paying $463,078 in taxes.
Ashman faces up to 20 years in prison on the fraud charge and up to five years in prison on the tax evasion charge.