HAVERHILL — A city woman has been charged with using PayPal as part of a scheme to steal nearly $1 million from her employer, a privately-held information technology staffing company based in Massachusetts.
Anita Allen, 34, of Haverhill was indicted on wire fraud charges, according to a press release issued yesterday by United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Vincent Lisi, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Division.
Allen was previously arrested on a criminal complaint at an airport in Charleston, S.C., and has remained in custody since that time, investigators said.
According to the indictment, which happened on Wednesday, Allen worked as an accounts payable specialist with the company. The indictment said she defrauded the company over a period of more than five years by directing dozens of transfers of money from a dormant company PayPal account to a PayPal account in her own name.
Allen then forwarded the money from her PayPal account to her personal bank account and spent it on day-to-day living expenses, travel, and the purchase of several vintage automobiles, according to the press release.
Allen also charged numerous personal purchases to a company credit card, including multiple cruises on Norwegian Caribbean Lines and purchases at retailers including Amazon.com and The Disney Store, the release said.
She succeeded in hiding the fraud scheme by doctoring monthly credit card statements and falsifying entries in the accounting journals she maintained as part of her job, investigators said. In total, the fraud resulted in a loss to the company approaching $1 million, they said.
If convicted, Allen faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or gross loss to the victim. The government is also seeking forfeiture of classic cars purchased by the defendant.