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Murfreesboro woman facing federal charges for wire fraud, tax evasion

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Posted at 2:20 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 15:20:33-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Murfreesboro woman pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion last week, after embezzling over $1.8 million from her employer.

According to U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, Don Cochran, 59-year-old Barbara Butler - the comptroller for D.S. Collaborative in Brentwood - was charged on Friday, April 5. She pleaded guilty to the charges on Thursday, April 25.

According to the documents filed with the court, Butler had been in her role at D.S. Collaborative for over 20 years, responsible for the company's financial affairs. Between December 2009 and July 2016, Butler wrote checks to herself and used the company's credit cards for personal use without the knowledge or approval of the company's owners.

Butler also opened a company Costco credit card in the name of a family member and allowed said family member to use the card for personal use.

Butler also used a company credit card to make a purchase totalling nearly $12,000 from Jared Galleria Jewelry in Franklin in March 2015.

In 2016, after learning D.S. Collaborative was subjected to an audit by the IRS, Butler provided false financial documents to the auditor to attempt to conceal the checks she had written to herself. She also altered general ledgers to make it look as though the checks were written to vendors.

From 2010 through 2015, Butler did not report the income resulting from the embezzlement to the IRS, causing a tax loss of $521,207.

According to the plea agreement's terms, Butler faces up to 25 years in prison and must pay restitution. Butler also must forfeit the contents from several bank accounts and the proceeds from the sale of a house.