Accountant sentenced to 33 months for embezzling nearly $2 million from interior design firm
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/BCN) – A judge sentenced an accountant working for a San Francisco interior design company to nearly three years in federal prison for embezzlement of nearly $2 million, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Tuesday.
Kerry Kit Yee Tang, 45, was employed as the controller of the design company from December of 2018 to January of 2021. She was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 16, 2021 on five counts of bank fraud involving embezzlement from her employer. Tang pleaded guilty to all five counts in May of this year.
Prosecutors said that Tang was the only employee that handled accounting at the firm, but she was not authorized to sign checks. Tang would draw checks on the company's bank accounts and forge the signatures of one or both of the company's principals on the checks without their authorization. Over two years, she embezzled more than $1.9 million by writing 69 checks, some of which ranged from $30,000 to $100,000. Sixty-six of the checks were maid payable to herself as well as third-party companies. These third-party companies never performed any services for the design company.
The majority of her embezzlement occurred at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when prosecutors said most of the country struggled with financial difficulties and emotional stress, compounding the financial uncertainty of the design company and its employees during an "already precarious time."
In addition to a 33 month sentence, Tang will serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution. She must surrender to begin serving her sentence on October 31, 2022.
The government asserted that Tang not only violated the trust placed in her by her colleagues but also jeopardized the livelihood of the design company and its employees.
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