Former local office manager gets 5 years for embezzlement

PADUCAH – The former office manager of a Paducah company was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for embezzlement of more than $700,000.

A federal judge handed down a 65-month sentence to Kristen Roberts on Thursday. Roberts pleaded guilty to wire fraud and identity theft from her employer, Utilities Dynamics, in October.

Prosecutors say she took $747,455.30 from the company in the scheme, in which she overpaid herself from the company’s payroll by making direct deposits from Utilities Dynamics’ bank account to her personal bank account. To hide it, she entered fake payroll payments to other employees, then deposited the money into her account. The 39-year-old Roberts, who is from Calvert City, also made fake invoices to different vendors in the company’s accounting software to make payments to herself look like payments to vendors.

Utilities Dynamics President Kevin Baer submitted a letter to the court before the sentencing hearing. In part, he said: “It’s important to let the Court understand that Kristen didn’t only steal from UDI and its employees, but she betrayed us, the owners, on a much more personal and heartbreaking level. She was not only an employee and office manager for seven years, but she was a trusted friend to us and our families.” To read the letter in full, click here.

In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas B. Russell also ordered Roberts to pay restitution. She has already paid $128, 114.05, and she must pay the remaining balance of $619,341.25.

You can read the full sentencing memorandum for Roberts below this story.

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