CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — Kanawha County prosecutors said a woman who embezzled more than $215,000 from Sears Monument Co. in Charleston where she worked as a bookkeeper has been sentenced to prison.
Donna Jean Bragg was sentenced to two to 20 years in prison by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit, according to a news release Wednesday from the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office. She also had a restitution judgment entered against her of more than $271,000.
Bragg pleaded guilty Nov. 30, 2018, to four counts of felony embezzlement that occurred during her three years of working at the company.
Bragg apologized for her conduct and sought probation, but she could not explain to the court how she spent the money.
Prosecutors said the victim in the case, Brent Sears, provided an impact statement, saying members of his sales staff were defrauded of their sales commissions or bonuses. He also said the impact on his firm was significant and that certain business improvements could not be undertaken as the result of the theft.
Bragg also failed to pay certain taxes to the state, including sales taxes, and the firm incurred other tax liabilities because of the theft, prosecutors said.
Kanawha County Prosecutor Chuck Miller said a prison sentence was appropriate in the case.
“The theft of a such a large amount of money from a company with 22 employees, couple with the default in taxes and fees, affected many people’s lives adversely,” Miller said in the news release. “While the company survived the criminal act, many companies don’t have the cash reserves to absorb this kind of loss and people could have lost jobs as a result of one person’s selfish acts.”
Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.