Bookkeeper Caught Embezzling £535,000 After Bonehead Kid Downloads Computer Virus

By Jennings Brown on at

A woman in the US state of Alaska was pulling off an embezzlement scheme so sly that even an IRS audit didn’t uncover the theft. But then her boss’s grandson infected granddaddy’s computer with a virus, ultimately leading to the discovery of false cheques.

Raenette K. Yangson, 42, has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for embezzling around $753,000 (£535,232) from a construction company where she worked as a bookkeeper from 2006 to 2013, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Western Construction and Equipment owner Jeff Light says Yangson slowly siphoned that money by forging cheques to her husband and herself, later editing information in the business’s accounting system so it looked as if she had paid other businesses.

The former bookkeeper might have gotten away with the plan, if Light’s grandson hadn’t infected Light’s computer with a virus. At the time, Light was signed in to the company network and wasn’t able to log off due to the virus, so Yangson couldn’t log in and tamper with the accounts.

Yangson then attempted a different fraudulent book-balancing tactic, entering a $14,000 (£9,951) payment as a “fee.” Light knew his company wouldn’t be paying a fee like that during that time of year. He dug deeper and saw that the cheque had Yangston’s husband’s name on it.

Light says he dug up hundreds of cheques and passed on the information to law enforcement. In addition to her prison sentence, Yangson must pay restitution and about $206,000 (£146,425) in taxes on the embezzled money.

For once, it seems, an unwise download delivered more than just a pirated Minecraft clone. [Anchorage Daily News]


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