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February 23, 10

NEWS / Former Accounts Supervisor of Area Chemical Company Sentenced to Prison for Embezzling Millions of D

HOUSTON—A former accounting supervisor for a Houston area chemicals company has been sentenced to prison for embezzling more than $3.6 million from her employer, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Diana Simon, 50, of Sugar Land, Texas, was sentenced this morning to 60 months in federal prison without parole and ordered to pay her former employer, Kaneka Texas, $3,621,220 in restitution. United States District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt handed down the sentence at a hearing held this morning. Simon was convicted of wire fraud in September 2009 after pleading guilty to the offense.

In September 2009, Simon admitted that while employed as an accounting supervisor for Kaneka Texas, a Houston area chemicals company located in Pasadena, Texas, she was responsible for processing invoices submitted by Kaneka’s vendors for payment. She used her position and the process to create and implement a false and fraudulent scheme to cause $3,621,220 from Kaneka’s bank account to be wired to her own bank account at a Houston area bank from June 2006 through February 2008. Simon used the embezzled money to buy a luxury home, luxury vehicles and jewelry in addition to financing multiple gambling trips to Louisiana and Las Vegas.

Following the completion of her prison term, the court has further ordered Simon to serve a three-year-term of supervised release. During those three years, Simon will be prohibited from using any gambling devices or traveling to any casinos and from using any credit card without the express permission of the U.S. Probation Department. She must also submit to drug testing, attend a mental health treatment program, and will be prohibited from being employed in a supervisory position.

The investigation leading to charges was conducted by the FBI and initiated in 2008 following Kaneka’s discovery of the embezzlement.

Simon has been permitted to remain on bond pending the issuance of an order to surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future where she will serve her prison term.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Vernon Lewis is prosecuting the case.




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