Woman Sentenced for Embezzling $425,000 from Pizza Business


thumb_FederalCourthouseTYLER – A 64-year-old woman who lived and worked in Longview has been sentenced to federal prison in an embezzlement case. Jo Beth Westergard pleaded guilty Friday to wire fraud and was then sentenced to 24 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge John D. Love of Tyler. Westergard was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $425,323.45 to Pizza Hut of East Texas.

According to information presented in court, from 2000 to 2012, Westergard was employed as a bookkeeper for Pizza Hut of East Texas and had access to the company’s computers and banking information. On Feb. 18, 2005, Westergard wired $5,970.94 from a Pizza Hut of East Texas checking account to her personal American Express credit card account. This transaction was part of a larger scheme devised by Westergard to embezzle funds from Pizza Hut of East Texas for her personal use. Westergard also transferred funds to her personal Visa credit card account and her personal PayPal account.

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