According to a published report by the Hickory Daily Record, a Taylorsville woman is expected to plead guilty to embezzling more than $15 million from the Hickory company where she worked.
As earlier reported, Donna Osowitt Steele was named in federal court documents as being charged with defrauding USA Tigra of $15 million through credit card charges, checks, QuickBooks transactions and wire transactions from 2013 through January 2020. Steele was employed at the company in 1999 and was promoted to chief executive officer in 2015, court documents say. She was fired from the company on Jan. 28, 2020.
Documents say she used stolen money to fund an extravagant lifestyle and a personal business, Opulence by Steele, in Taylorsville. The store was operated by Steele and her family and once had a Hickory address, according to the store’s Facebook page. Opulence by Steele was a high-end clothing and furniture boutique Steele founded in 2013. Documents say Steele transferred more than $350,000 of embezzled money to the family company. Steele made $1 million for travel expenses on airlines and hotels for herself, her family and friends, $1 million in entertainment-related expenses and $500,000 in jewelry.
A US Department of Justice spokesperson Department said Steele has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The Hickory Daily Record contributed to this article
Click to view court documents https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:aefc15f4-5fb5-428f-a05c-f0a92106f7c5#pageNum=1