Indy controller gets 29 months for bilking Frakes Engineering

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.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.