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Cincinnati accountant got rich, then got jail time

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in Human Resources

A former accounting manager for Cincinnati-based Clark Western Building Systems has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return as part of a nine-year embezzlement scheme she concocted. Kimberly Prebles almost got away with millions; now she has to pay it back—and then some.

According to court documents, back in 2000, Prebles opened a bank account in the name of one of Clark Western’s vendors. She then wired money from Clark Western accounts she controlled into the bogus bank account. She used the money to purchase jewelry, vehicles and home improvements. Authorities didn’t discover the scam until 2009.

Following her guilty plea, Prebles faces 20 years in prison for the wire fraud charge and three years for the false tax return charge. She must also pay back the $4.3 million authorities said she embezzled from Clark Western and $829,000 to the IRS.

Advice: Every employer needs a system of checks and balances in its accounting system to make this kind of fraud harder to get away with.

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