Childersburg Woman Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Wire Fraud

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A Childersburg woman was sentenced recently for engaging in a wire fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.

U.S. District Judge Annemarie Axon sentenced Tonya Bird Swain, 43, to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for wire fraud. Swain was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $532,724.48 to the victim. Swain pleaded guilty to the charges in January.

According to the plea agreement, Swain embezzled over $500,000 from her former employer, Recycle USA. Swain was employed as the Controller and/or Accounts Manager. She was responsible for ordering, receiving, and disbursing cash for company operations, and for making accounting entries in QuickBooks. On multiple occasions between 2015 and 2017, Swain ordered funds to be delivered via Loomis to Recycle USA. Swain manipulated QuickBooks entries and did not put all the cash in the vault, but instead kept the cash and used it to pay personal expenses.

“This defendant violated the trust bestowed upon her by her employer,” U.S. Attorney Escalona said. “This sentence sends a message that such schemes to defraud will result in federal prosecution and prison time.”

“Swain violated her employer’s trust when she defrauded them and went to great lengths to conceal her criminal activity,” SAC Sharp said. “This behavior is a serious federal crime and simply won’t be tolerated.”

The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Beardsley Mark prosecuted.

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