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Bookkeeper Sentenced To Five Years For Embezzling Over $800,000 From Indiana Trucking Company

Bookkeeper Sentenced To Five Years For Embezzling Over $800,000 From Indiana Trucking Company

An Indiana woman was sentenced Sept. 11 to nearly five years in federal prison for embezzling more than $800,000 from a trucking company.

Once released from federal prison, Lucy Owens, 42, of Hobart, Indiana, will serve one year of supervised release and has also been ordered to pay nearly $820,500 in restitution to James Djuric, owner of Djuric Trucking of Hammond, Indiana.

A jury found Owens guilty of seven counts of wire fraud in May 2018, according to the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Indiana.

Federal prosecutors claimed Owens, who worked for the company for nine years, used her position as a bookkeeper for Djuric Trucking to divert company funds over a five-year period to pay more than $460,000 in personal credit card bills. She also tapped the company's bank account to pay for family vacations, jewelry and home improvement projects, federal officials alleged.

Djuric Trucking has 55 power units and 57 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's SAFER website.

As of press time, Djuric did not return FreightWaves' phone call for a comment regarding Owens' sentencing.

As administrator of the company's fuel card program, prosecutors claimed Owens helped her husband and co-defendant Kirk Stroh, a truck driver for a rival trucking company, obtain more than $290,000 in fraudulent cash advances at a truck stop in Lake Station, Indiana, in increments of $800 per day.

Prosecutors said she diverted funds from the company's bank account from January 2010 through March 2015, creating false financial reports to hide the missing funds.

Owens has been ordered to report to prison on Oct. 23.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office and law enforcement partners will continue to hold people accountable for their actions when they choose to take advantage of others," said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.

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