Legal Issues and Fraud and Criminal Charges and Law

Indy controller gets 29 months for bilking Frakes Engineering

March 31, 2013

An Indianapolis woman has been sentenced to 29 months in federal prison for allegedly bilking her former employer out of more than $400,000.

Brenda K. Helpling was sentenced Thursday by a federal judge who also ordered her to pay more than $410,000 in restitution. The 52-year-old had pleaded guilty in November to mail fraud.

Court documents show Helpling had been the controller of Frakes Engineering, with check-writing authority over its checking accounts.

She was accused of writing 26 unauthorized checks from its business checking account totaling more than $200,000 and hiding those with fictitious vendors.

Prosecutors said Helpling also wrote 24 checking totaling more than $134,000 from the firm and made payments on her personal credit card accounts. She also used other methods to embezzle another $75,000 from the company.

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