Suwanee woman pleads guilty to embezzling over $3.5M from Alpharetta company

By Austin Eller News Director
Posted 2:30PM on Thursday 30th November 2023 ( 4 months ago )

A Suwanee woman recently entered a guilty plea to embezzling over $3.5 million from an Alpharetta company between 2015 and 2020.

According to a press release from Ryan Buchanan, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Sonya Hesenius, 59, was a former office manager and executive assistant for the yard care company she embezzled the funds from.

“Hesenius stole millions of dollars from her employer to fund a lavish lifestyle,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Those entrusted with a fiduciary role for a company accept great responsibility. The defendant’s actions demonstrate that she cared far more about personal gain and much less about the faith and trust that her employer placed in her.”

“Hesenius worked in a position of trust for a company that expected her to honor that trust,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Instead, she chose to abuse it and her personal greed not only hurt the company, but everyone who worked for them. This plea should send the message that the FBI takes wire fraud extremely seriously and will work to hold offenders accountable.”

Hesenius reportedly made fraudulent charges on corporate credit cards and caused the company to reimburse her personal credit card for personal expenses. To conceal her alleged crimes, she coded and approved all the charges herself, withheld supporting documentation from the company, and disguised the unauthorized expenditures in the company's system as legitimate expenses, such as newspaper advertisements.

Hesenius also disseminated the expenditures among different job sites to further conceal the fraud.

The release said Hesenius used the funds to pay for a variety of personal expenses, including her daughter’s wedding at the Barnsley Resort; cash transfers through PayPal, Venmo, and Square; Luis Vuitton and Chanel handbags; plane flights for Hesenius and more than 20 of her family members and friends; season tickets for University of Tennessee football and basketball teams; a recreational vehicle; hotels; furniture; cruises; and clothing items.

Hesenius pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in the case. Sentencing is scheduled for March 6, 2024, at 10 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Victoria M. Calvert.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. O'Neal is prosecuting the case.

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