Crime

Payroll manager admits to $1.5 million embezzlement from two major KC-area employers

Patricia Webb, 44, of Lee’s Summit, pleaded guilty in federal court in Kansas City to three counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Patricia Webb, 44, of Lee’s Summit, pleaded guilty in federal court in Kansas City to three counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

A Lee’s Summit woman admitted Tuesday to stealing $1.5 million from Black & Veatch and Garmin when she worked in senior payroll jobs at those companies.

Patricia Marie Webb, 44, of Lee’s Summit, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to three counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

She admitted in U.S. District Court to embezzling $1,255,175 million from Garmin between Feb. 24, 2012, and May 30, 2014, while she worked as a senior payroll specialist there; $302,183 from Black & Veatch from January 2015 until March 4 of this year while she was a global payroll manager there; and $7,385 from Tristar Benefit Administrators, a company that handled health care savings accounts for Garmin.

Webb sent fraudulent wire transfers from those companies into her personal bank account, prosecutors said during the hearing Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark.

Webb later used the identity of a worker at Garmin to create a flexible spending account without the employee’s permission. She then submitted a reimbursement for treatment at a hospital in the employee’s name for $7,385, prosecutors said.

Investigators determined that Webb spent large sums of money at casinos and made cash withdrawals at casinos.

No sentencing date has been set.

Under federal law, Webb could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison without parole on each count of wire fraud. She also could be sentenced to a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence for pleading guilty to aggravated identity theft, Paul Becker, an assistant U.S. attorney, said during the hearing.

Before she worked for Garmin and Black & Veatch, Webb, under the name Patricia Holmes, pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery in 2012 in Jackson County Circuit Court for forging checks while working at John Knox Village in Lee’s Summit.

Webb was a payroll clerk at John Knox when she was charged with forging two checks totaling $3,347, according to court records. She was placed on probation.

Glenn E. Rice: 816-234-4341, @GRicekcstar

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