Paducah woman charged with wire fraud, identity theft involving employer

Published 11:59 am Monday, January 8, 2024

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A federal grand jury in Paducah has returned an indictment charging a Paducah woman with six counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft involving her employer, it was announced Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Kentucky.

According to the indictment, from September 2019 to February 2023, Nichole M. Lawrence, 34, used her position as office manager to unlawfully obtain funds and services totaling over $400,000 from her employer in McCracken County, Kentucky. By accessing the company’s bank account, Lawrence scheduled electronic payments for her personal expenses that had been charged to various accounts and charge cards. She also used a stamp with the signature of the company’s general manager to issue unauthorized company checks to herself.

The name of the company that suffered the loss was not made public.

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Lawrence made her initial court appearance Thursday, before a U.S. Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. No other court dates have been scheduled yet.

If convicted, Lawrence faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, followed by a mandatory 24 months in prison for identity theft. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

There is no parole in the federal system.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office.