- $12.9 million reportedly stolen from employer Matthews International
- Cynthia Mills spent the cash on luxury goods and gambling
The perpetrator of Pennsylvania’s largest embezzlement scheme will be sentenced next week by the U.S. District Court, after admitting to the theft of almost $13 million from her former employer.
Cynthia Mills has admitted to stealing the money over her 16-year tenure at the company, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mills’ attorney Phillip DiLucente has attributed his client’s crimes to her longstanding gambling problem, pointing to how much of the stolen cash was spent at Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos.
Mills is now facing a jail sentence of around 7.5 years, and will be ordered to pay back the embezzled cash.
Living a luxury lifestyle
The thefts reportedly committed by Mills represent a sustained and consistent approach to her method, with fraudulent transactions dating back as far as the late 1990s.
She would syphon off company funds to fake businesses, claiming the money as her own at a later date. This allowed Mills and her husband to live a luxury lifestyle – owning multiple cars, several yachts, a number of properties, and investing a quantity of gold and jewels. Gary Mills is also facing charges relating to the case, over fraudulent tax claims associated with the couple’s income.
While a desire to please her husband and maintain their VIP lifestyle is a clear factor in this case, Mills also states that a chronic addiction to gambling has exacerbated the problem. A large portion of the stolen funds was spent across casinos in Pittsburgh, and also in the casino cities of Atlantic City and Las Vegas.
A pre-hearing first revealed the extent of Ms. Mills’ habits when it was claimed much of the stolen money was already gone, prompting officials to take back the ill-gotten luxury goods owned by the couple. It is expected that rehabilitative treatment will form part of Mills’ treatment program after she is sentenced for her crimes next week.
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