Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Former Florida Bookkeeper Reaches Plea Agreement In $667K Embezzlement Case
Karri March Hughen, 46, of North Naples, Florida, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors admitting she embezzled at least $667,000 from Pinnacle Home Builders where she had been employed as a bookkeeper for 14 years. Specifically, Hughen pleaded no contest to one count of a scheme to defraud and 224 counts of wire fraud. According to the plea agreement, Hughen will serve a 10-year state prison term and 20 years of probation and must pay restitution. According to authorities, Hughen made 224 electronic transfers of funds from company accounts to her own account as well as the account of her husband, Joe Hughen, Jr., 47, and her mother-in-law, Jane Hughen. The scheme reportedly spanned a 2 1/2 year period between January 2004 and August 2006. Her thefts reportedly forced the business to close, according to its former owner, Robert Macaluso. Hughen reportedly used the stolen funds to pay her personal bills and expenses, including mortgages on two homes, credit card and gambling debts. She had a prior criminal conviction for misdemeanor drug possession in 1993. We note that Joe Hughen's father, the now late Pastor Jack Hughen Sr., was forced to resign from the First Baptist Church he served on Marco Island after embezzling and stealing church donations over a 20 year period.