Woman sentenced for stealing from employer

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018


BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge on Tuesday, Sept. 11, sentenced a Shelby County woman to nearly two years in prison for stealing from the Bessemer company where she worked as a bookkeeper, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins sentenced Lucy Woods, 52, of Pelham, to 21 months in prison on four counts of wire fraud related to her stealing more than $150,000 from her former employer, Robert Warnock Company, Inc.

Woods pleaded guilty to the charges in May. She must report to prison on Nov. 12.

“This defendant blatantly abused the trust of her employer,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Beardsley Mark. “This sentence is a strong and clear message that abuse of trust and misuse of funds is unacceptable and anyone who considers engaging in similar conduct should know that it can lead to federal prison.”

Robert Warnock Company is a manufacturer’s representative that sells capital equipment for the oil and gas industry. While employed by Robert Warnock, Woods fraudulently charged personal expenses totaling more than $30,000 on a corporate credit card account. She also forged, and made payable to herself, more than $120,000 in unauthorized checks from the corporate bank account, according to court records.

“Ms. Woods exploited her position of trust with repeated conduct that was deliberate, deceptive and self-enriching, and the court has held her accountable,” Sharp said. “I, particularly, want to thank our partners with the Bessemer Police Department for their assistance in this case.”

The FBI investigated the case in conjunction with the Bessemer Police Department, and Mark prosecuted the case.