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Woman pleads guilty to stealing money for third time

June 23, 2021 GMT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman has pleaded guilty to charges that she stole money from her employer, the third time in a decade that she has been accused of embezzling funds from her job, prosecutors said.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Charlotte said in a news release that Lisa Buza Hill, 41, of Belmont pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud and making false statements for embezzling more than $570,000 from two companies she worked for. Hill is in federal custody while awaiting sentencing on a date not yet announced.

Hill was previously convicted of stealing more than $800,000 from a third company where she was employed, the news release said.

According to the news release, in 2012, Hill was convicted of federal wire fraud after she admitted to stealing more than $800,000 from a motorcycle company in Kings Mountain. She was ordered to serve five months of probation, three years of supervised release and to pay more than $807,000 in restitution to the company.

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In July 2020, the U.S. attorney’s office filed new charges against Hill for embezzling money from an unidentified Charlotte-based company where she worked as a controller. Court documents showed that over six months, and while still paying restitution for the 2012 embezzlement scheme, Hill misused her access to her employer’s financial system and defrauded the company by issuing herself approximately 15 company checks totaling over $22,000.

During that time, the U.S. attorney’s office said, Hill also made false statements regarding attempts to collect court-ordered restitution owed by Hill in connection with her 2012 conviction.

This month, while Hill’s criminal charges for the fraudulent check scheme were still pending, a federal bill of information was also filed charging her with embezzling more than $550,000 from her latest employer, a development company in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

In court, Hill admitted using the embezzled funds to make payments for a BMW, a trip to Disney World, mortgage payments and to settle misuse of funds allegations from previous employers.

Court documents don’t explain how Hill continued to get jobs for senior financial positions, given her criminal history.