BEDFORD, Ind., (WTWO/WAWV) — According to a release from the Department of Justice, an executive director of a senior living community will face over two years in federal prison for the embezzlement of $419,000 over the course of five years. 

After pleading guilty to three counts of wire fraud, Dara Little, 35, of Mitchell Indiana was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison. Hired for the executive director position in May of 2014, Little had access to a platform that would allow her to submit business reimbursement requests. After Little was fired from the position in 2016 due to timesheet fraud and theft of prescription medication, she was still able to access the platform as it had not yet been disabled.

A few months after Little was terminated from her previous position, she began to submit fraudulent documents, namely false and forged receipts, that did not have any association with her previous employment. 

Reimbursement requests for things like “dishwasher maintenance” “small furniture purchases” “locksmith services” iPads, baby strollers, and more. In Sept. of 2016, Little’s access to the platform was terminated. 

The day after access was terminated, Little began to use another employee’s account to continue making fraudulent reimbursement requests. The forgery continued when in 2017, Little used yet another employee’s account to continue embezzling money, providing receipts from popular photos online as part of the reimbursement request.

Little’s phone was searched during the investigation and notes detailing her embezzlement were found and included amounts, dates, and the specifics of what was purchased.

“For over five years, the defendant repeatedly defrauded her former employer through lies and forged documents,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Our office will continue to prioritize prosecutions of fraud schemes that have lasting impacts on businesses and individuals. I commend the work of the FBI and prosecutors in our office to untangle this long string of embezzlement, proving once again that those who chose to violate the law in service of their greed will be held accountable for their crimes.”

More than $419,542 was stolen from Little’s employer.

“Ms. Little intentionally sought to personally benefit by diverting funds that were not her own to line her own pocket. This sentence should send a clear message to others who might consider doing the same,” said FBI Indianapolis Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Middleton. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to work diligently to identify and investigate those who choose to enrich themselves at the expense of others.”

The FBI was involved in the investigation of this case and U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans sentenced Little as well as ordered that Little be put on probation for three years following her release and must pay the full amount of $419,542.45 in restitution.