Donna Osowitt Steele pleaded guilty to wire fraud in January. She faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000. She has already agreed to pay restitution by selling assets since her conviction.
Steele was CEO of TIGRA USA of Hickory. She was hired by the company in 1999 and was promoted to chief executive officer in 2015. Steele was fired on January 28, 2020.
The German based company was defrauded of millions by Steele who used the money to fund an extravagant lifestyle and a personal business, Opulence by Steele, in Taylorsville.
In January, Steele sold the Alexander County property she used for a wedding venue known as Steele Farms for $1.5 million.
Steele resided in Taylorsville at the time of her conviction but has since moved to Watauga County.