Former payroll admin heads to prison after admitting she stole nearly $700,000 from employer

Published 11:21 am Thursday, October 31, 2019

A federal judge Wednesday sentenced a Birmingham woman for embezzling over $680,000 from her former employer, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick Davis.

U.S. District Judge Annemarie Axon sentenced Cindy Madison, 55, to 33 months in prison for wire fraud. Madison pleaded guilty in May to one count of wire fraud.

“This defendant abused the trust of her employer,” Town said. “This sentence is a strong clear message that abuse of trust and misuse of funds will result in federal incarceration.”

“By virtue of her position and available access to sensitive information, and the corporate accounts, Ms. Madison violated the trust that had been bestowed upon her by her employer,” Davis said. “Although Ms. Madison was a tenured employee, this case highlights the fact that greed can overtake anyone.”

According to the plea agreement, between January 2007 and November 2017, Madison worked for GW Systems as the head of Payroll Administration. As the Payroll Administrator, Madison had access to corporate bank accounts and checks for GW Systems and Liberty Construction Services, as well as to the signature stamp used to sign checks in the name of the owner.

Liberty Construction Services, LLC is a company owned by GW Systems. Madison was authorized to use the signature stamp for business purposes only.

Between April 2016 and November 2017, Madison used the stamp to create unauthorized checks payable to herself and her husband, and deposited them into her personal bank account in the amount of $683,475.85.

U.S. Secret Service investigated the cases, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Beardsley Mark prosecuted.