Woman Was Hired As Bookkeeper For A Family Business. She Then Wrote Herself Checks Totaling At Least $29 Million.

texas case

Jan. 3 2023, Published 12:36 p.m. ET

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A woman pleaded guilty to an embezzling scheme that lined her pocket with tens of millions of dollars from her employer, federal prosecutors in Texas said.

Barbara Chalmers, 74, of Lewisville, recently pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and stealing at least $29 million from a Dallas family who ran a charitable foundation and several other companies, court documents state.

Chalmers “admitted that starting in at least 2012, she abused her position as bookkeeper for the family’s companies and her signatory authority over the companies’ bank accounts to fraudulently write herself at least 175 checks, which she deposited into her personal accounts,” Department of Justice prosecutors said.

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As part of her efforts to conceal her fraudulent activity, she “provided false paperwork to tax preparers misstating the year-end cash-on-hand numbers for the various accounts from which she was embezzling,” according to prosecutors.

Officials said Chalmers used over $25 million of the money she stole to start and run her own construction business.

Chalmers faces up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced.


An attorney for the family who were the victims of the embezzlement scheme told The Dallas Morning News in a statement: “Not only did Ms. Chalmers brazenly abuse the trust the family placed in her, but she also stole millions of dollars from a charitable foundation dedicated to improving the lives and health for so many in need in the Dallas community.”


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