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Containers that sit too long on a port are assessed storage fees. Federal prosecutors say a North Charleston warehouse business was the victim of a fraudulent billing scheme involving those "demurrage" charges. File  

A former employee of a North Charleston warehousing business is pleading guilty to bilking the company out of more than $530,000 over five years, according to newly filed federal court documents.

Jennifer S. Godin faces one count of fraud based on an  interstate wire transfer of $985 in 2014.

Prosecutors said Godin was a customer service representative for Trans-Hold, which stores cargo containers and provides other logistical services for shippers. At the time of the fraud, the company was owned by Seattle-based Carrix-SSA Marine, a major player in the U.S. port industry.

Godin’s job included taking care of miscellaneous payments that Madaris Transportation, a Trans-Hold contractor, billed her employer and its parent for unforeseen charges. They included financial penalties known as “demurrage” for cargo that isn’t picked up on time.

From 2010 to about 2015, Godin drew up false billing invoices for those late fees and had the money forwarded to her. She then “diverted the fraudulent proceeds to personal use,” according to a document that U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon filed in federal court in Charleston on Monday.

The payments totaled about $532,200 over the five-year period, she said.

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Godin waived her right to an indictment and arraignment.

The maximum punishment is 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years in a supervised release program. She also agreed to forfeit any assets obtained with the embezzled funds and make full restitution under a plea deal she signed on Feb. 25.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott