A former bookkeeper who embezzled more than $625,000 from a Summerville manufacturing business over six years was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison on Tuesday.
Kay Infinger Day also was ordered to pay full restitution to Lauscha Fiber International, even though that’s unlikely “unless she wins the lottery,” U.S. District Court Judge David Norton said during a 15-minute hearing in Charleston.
Day, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection to the scheme in July.
She had been manager of finance and administration at Lauscha in Eastport Industrial Park off West Fifth North Street. The German company makes glass fibers for batteries, filters and other industrial uses.
She abruptly quit in April 2011 as outside auditors began digging into the Lauscha’s books ahead of a sale of the business, said assistant U.S. Attorney Rhett DeHart, who prosecuted the case.
Day began fabricating reimbursement claims in 2005 for an assortment of bogus expenses, the government said. She then wired the payments into personal bank accounts at BB&T and South Carolina Federal Credit Union.
Day collected the reimbursements in every pay period from 2005 to 2011 for a total of about $625,000 in 163 electronic transfers, at an average of $3,835 each.
She could have faced up to 20 years in prison. The court determined 33 to 41 months was the recommended term of incarceration.
DeHart asked Norton to impose sentence within or above that range because of the length of the crime and the fact that Day stopped embezzling only after experts began reviewing Lauscha’s financial records.
“It was a long-standing fraud,” Norton said.
Day told an investigator last year she had spent all of the stolen money on medical costs and living expenses, according to previous court testimony.
Day is a mother of two who, according to her public defender, had struggled after a divorce more than a decade ago. Day declined to make statement to the court Tuesday.
In a sentencing memorandum last week seeking leniency, her attorney said Day used the money “to try to give her children the life that they would have had if her children had been receiving child support.”
Norton said he would recommend Day be incarcerated at a federal prison in West Virginia, where she has family.
Her guilty plea focused on a 2010 interstate wire transfer of about $8,530 from Lauscha to BB&T in North Carolina and back to her local credit union account. Norton dismissed four other charges from the 2012 indictment.
Reach John McDermott at 937-5572,