Irene Marie Brooner called her basement bar the Dirty Duck.
It had three flat-panel televisions, at least four tap lines and seating for about 15 people. Stained wainscoting and a granite bar top, a refrigeration system and a smoke machine. It was decorated with mannequins dressed in U.S. and German military uniforms with World War II-era weapons, including a Thompson submachine gun and M1 Garand rifles with bayonets.
Her new accommodations will be decidedly less plush.
Brooner, 53, of Kansas City, North, was sentenced Thursday to five years in federal prison for a nearly $3 million fraud scheme that forced her employer out of business.
As the company struggled financially, Brooner paid off the nearly $290,000 mortgage on her Northland home and spent nearly $170,000 on furniture and home decor. She bought more than $18,000 in alcohol between 2004 and 2014, including more than $11,000 in wine.
She also spent nearly $82,000 on jewelry, including a $2,295 watch. She shelled out more than $400,000 for clothing and other retail items. She spent more than $97,000 at restaurants, more than $78,000 on vehicles, more than $62,000 on travel, including a Carnival cruise, more than $38,000 on electronics and nearly $60,000 on spa visits and beauty items. There was more than $470,000 in assorted checks and miscellaneous credit card purchases.
She also spent nearly $69,000 on tuition for her children and otherwise gave them more than $104,000. She also made more than $64,000 in charitable donations.
Brooner, a certified public accountant, was assigned a federal public defender after her indictment. She pleaded guilty to bank fraud.
Brooner worked for Galvmet Inc., a sheet metal fabrication company and steel service center that once employed 26 people. The company, formerly located in the Subtropolis complex, was forced to file for bankruptcy and shut down operations last year.
Brooner’s duties included managing the payroll. She admitted that for more than 10 years, she made unauthorized transactions from the company’s bank account to her personal accounts. Brooner also inflated her own salary, which was $60,000 to $70,000, on 108 occasions.
Her actions cost the company more than $1.8 million.
To keep the scheme going, Brooner falsified documents to support Galvmet’s operating loan from Missouri Bank and Trust, causing the bank to lose $1.1 million. The total loss was at least $2,963,914.
The court ordered Brooner to pay that money back and to forfeit her Lexus SUV and jewelry to the government.
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