The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 31, 2012

Neosho woman turns self in for prison time




NEOSHO, Mo. — A woman convicted of stealing $168,600 from her employer, Ragland Mills in Neosho, turned herself in Tuesday to begin serving an 18-month sentence at a federal prison.

Irene M. Davis, 44, of Neosho, surrendered to the U.S. Marshals Service for transfer to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Davis pleaded guilty in February in U.S. District Court in Springfield to uttering and possessing forged securities. A federal judge assessed Davis the prison term on Aug. 31 but granted her an additional two months free on bond before her sentence was to commence. Her period of incarceration is to be followed by two years of supervised release.

The court ordered Davis to pay $122,614.20 in restitution to Ragland Mills and another $25,000 to the company’s insurer, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. The defendant also was ordered to forfeit a 2007 Mercedes Benz car believed to have been purchased with funds stolen from her employer.

Davis served as the payroll and accounts payable clerk at Ragland Mills and wrote 20 checks totaling $167,539 to herself between June 3, 2010, and April 15, 2011, forging the signature of an authorized company representative on each of the checks.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield said that in order to conceal the thefts, Davis accessed the company’s accounting software and altered the payee lines of the checks to make them appear as if they were made payable to a vendor with which the company did business.

She also admitted to stealing about $1,061 from a petty cash fund at the business.