A Hickory woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury with multiple counts of wire fraud, tax fraud, and money laundering, for allegedly embezzling more than $900,000 from her employer, according to a news release from the United States Department of Justice.
Michelle Wilshire, 48, of Hickory, according to the indictment, was employed by a family-owned business in Conover. The release did not name the comapy but according to The Hickory Daily Record, a person who answered the phone at Tru-Pak Moving Systems in Conover said Wilshire no longer worked at the company.
The indictment says that from 2016 to 2021, Wilshire was in charge of the company’s Comdata account. Comdata is a third-party payment processing and debit card issuing service. The company used Comdata for fleet management and as a payment service for drivers, according to the release.
The indictment says Wilshire executed a scheme to defraud her employer by issuing multiple Comdata prepaid debit cards in her name and in the names of other individuals, including former employees, fictitious employees, and current employees who were not aware the cards existed. Wilshire reportedly caused Comdata to load funds onto the prepaid debit cards, which the defendant then withdrew via ATM cash withdrawals. Between November 2017, and July 2021, Wilshire allegedly withdrew more than $528,000
Wilshire is charged with six counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count; five counts of making and subscribing a false tax return, which carry a statutory maximum term of one year in prison per count; and two counts of money laundering which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.
Wilshire’s initial court appearance in Charlotte has been scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 29.