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Monday, 28 September 2015 13:35

Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to 2nd Embezzlement

MEMPHIS – Sept. 28, 2015 - A bookkeeper for a business technology company has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $60,000 from the company over a four-year period, Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich said Monday.
Joan Cordell, 62, was sentenced to eight years in prison by Criminal Court Judge W. Mark Ward, who also ordered her to pay restitution of $81,149.59 to her former employer, Commercial Data Corporation.
In 2010, Cordell pleaded guilty to similar charges stemming from her theft of money from a previous employer, Hyman Builder Supply.
She served 365 days in prison on weekends and the remaining seven years of that sentence were suspended.
The new case, however, violated terms of her probation and she was incarcerated in April and later ordered to begin serving her sentence in the previous case.
The two sentences are to be served consecutively. She cannot seek a sentence reduction or suspension of any part of the two sentences before April of 2018.
In the case resolved Friday, Cordell, of Horn Lake, Miss., wrote unauthorized checks to herself from the company bank account and issued payroll checks to herself that were higher than her authorized salary.
She was the bookkeeper and administrative assistant to the president of Commercial Data on Regal Boulevard.
The payroll checks she issued to herself were for 40-hour work weeks when she only worked a mandated 35-hour week, the investigation showed. She also paid herself for unauthorized mileage, for vacation time she had not accrued and for vacation that was not approved.
The case was handled by Asst. Dist. Atty. Byron Winsett, chief prosecutor of the DA’s Public Corruption & Economic Crime Unit which handles cases involving fraud and theft from governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and businesses and money-laundering cases.
Prosecutors work with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of such offenses.
The PCEC unit also operates the D.A.’s Hot Check Program. The Hot Check Program provides a means for local merchants and citizens to recover funds from individuals who write worthless checks.
The D.A.’s Hot Check coordinator works directly with merchants and citizens to prosecute these cases.
In addition, the unit handles all the forfeiture cases filed by the District Attorney General’s Office. The PCECU seeks forfeitures of proceeds of criminal activity, of properties used as a conveyance for certain crimes or used to commit certain crimes.
The unit is part of the Memphis and Shelby County White Collar Crime Task Force that includes law enforcement officers from the Memphis Police Department Economic Crime Unit and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.