Shelbyville woman gets two-year sentence for embezzlement

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The former controller of a Shelbyville company has been sentenced to two years in federal prison after admitting to embezzling nearly $700,000 from her company.

Tammy J. Scudder, 52, of Shelbyville received the sentence after pleading guilty to four counts of wire fraud, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ordered that Scudder be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for two years following her release from prison and that she pay the full $693,708 in restitution to Plymate Inc., where she worked from 2012 to December 2021. Plymate is a fourth-generation family-owned company that provides workplace apparel and floor mat programs to businesses.

Investigators said Scudder was the company’s top accountant and maintained its accounting ledgers, managed payroll, and had access to online bank accounts. She also had access to the company’s accounting software, which she used to generate checks in Plymate’s name.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, Scudder exploited vulnerabilities in the accounting system involving the company’s health care plan bank account to print checks to herself and then conceal her thefts. From Feb. 2, 2012, to Dec. 17, 2020, Scudder generated 154 false and fraudulent checks, according to court documents.

Investigators say she used the money for vacations, to pay off personal debts, fund her children’s educational expenditures, and to make improvements to her Shelbyville residence.

“The defendant abused her position of trust and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars intended to pay for the health care of her colleagues,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary Myers in written comments. “This incessant greed, spanning nearly a decade, has been quashed thanks to our dedicated partners at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Our office will continue to identify and prosecute individuals who scheme and steal to satisfy their own greed.”

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