Indiana woman sentenced to federal prison for embezzlement

Investigators searched the cell phone of 35-year-old Dara Little and found a note in which she admitted stealing from her former employer over the course of five years.

NEW ALBANY, Indiana – An Indiana woman has been sentenced to over two years in prison after embezzling over $400,000 from her former employer.

According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), 35-year-old Dara Little was hired at a facility for seniors in Bedford, Indiana, in May 2014. As part of her job, she previously had access to a web-based platform to submit business expense reimbursement claims.

In January 2016, she was fired for timekeeping fraud and stealing prescription drugs, according to documents – but her access to the online platform was not immediately disabled.

Court documents show that Little filed 24 requests for reimbursement totaling nearly $60,000 after her release. The claims for reimbursement contained forged and falsified receipts that had “no connection” to her employment at the senior living facility.

According to court documents, Little continued to file claims for reimbursement for five months after her release. Her claim for reimbursement account was permanently deactivated in September 2016.

Documents show that the day after her account was deactivated, she began using another employee’s account to submit more fraudulent refund requests. Little submitted 172 fraudulent refund requests between September 2016 and March 2021 through the other employee’s account. She ended up getting around $180,000.

Court documents show that in October 2017, Little began using another employee’s account to submit fraudulent claims for reimbursement. Between October 2017 and March 2021, Little submitted 155 other fraudulent refund requests using the second employee’s account. She ended up receiving more than $161,000.

According to the DOJ, investigators searched Little’s cell phone and found a note in which she admitted to stealing over $400,000 from the senior living facility over the course of five years, how the money was stolen, and what she spent the money on.

Court documents show she ended up stealing a grant totaling $419,542.45.

“MS. Little was deliberately trying to profit personally by diverting funds that did not belong to her to line her own pocket,” said Robert Middleton of the Indianapolis FBI do the same.”

According to the Justice Department, the court ordered Little to be monitored by the U.S. Parole Board for three years after her release from federal prison. She was also ordered to pay the full amount of damages.

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