DEARBORN, Mich. – A 47-year-old Dearborn woman was charged Wednesday with embezzling more than $1 million from a small business in Taylor, U.S. attorney Matthew Schneider announced.
Paula Elkins is accused of stealing $1,124,889 from her employer, J.S. Vig Construction.
Elkins was a bookkeeper and comptroller for J.S. Vig Construction, and wrote 196 unauthorized company checks to the attention of an inactive local hockey league and deposited them into the league's bank account, which she had control over, according to the indictment.
Elkins also wrote company checks to pay off her credit cards and wired money from company accounts to her personal account, officials said. She is also accused of forging authorized signatures on the checks.
"Theft from small businesses hurts more than the company owners," Schneider said. "It damages communities and causes people to lose their jobs. We will vigorously prosecute these crimes of greed because of their damaging effect on our society."
“As reflected by the indictments, United States Secret Service in Detroit -- along with our federal, state and local partners -- remains dedicated to the pursuit and apprehension of those responsible for these serious economic crime cases,” said Douglas J. Zloto, special agent in charge of the Secret Service Detroit field office.
Elkins was arraigned Wednesday on a wire fraud charge in federal court and released on bond.