Feds: Ex-cashier stole $9.5M from Pittsburgh monuments firm

PITTSBURGH (AP) " A cashier at a Pittsburgh monuments and engraving firm stole at least $9.5 million from the company during the 16 years she worked there, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Cynthia Mills, 55, stole the money while working for Matthews International Corp. from 1999 to 2015. They say she cashed checks made out to Matthews or had them routed to a bank account of a bogus company she controlled.

Mills was charged Wednesday with mail and wire fraud, tax evasion and money laundering. Defense attorney Phil DiLucente said Mills has and will continue to cooperate with the federal government and the company and intends to plead guilty.

"This is an unfortunate situation. However, my client is going to continue to right the situation by relinquishing any interest she owns including valuables and money," he said.

The company said in a 2015 financial report that a former employee was suspected of stealing $14 million, and prosecutors filed petitions to seize a $645,000 yacht, two Mercedes automobiles and a Ford Focus that Mills allegedly bought with the money.

A spokesman for Matthews said the company has been cooperating with federal authorities since the theft investigation began and is now "fully focused on the recovery of funds."

Authorities didn't immediately explain the discrepancy in the alleged theft amount.

Prosecutors have filed a 65-page exhibit listing scores of items to be seized, including three homes, the yacht and two other boats, at least eight cars, a snowmobile and three motorcycles. Additional items include 19 leather, mink, fox, chinchilla or raccoon coats, dozens of Louis Vuitton handbags and dozens of pieces of jewelry.

Authorities contend those items, and others, were bought with the stolen money.

DiLucente said a change of plea hearing is scheduled in the case for March 15. He said Mills will change the not-guilty plea she plans to enter when she's arraigned to a guilty plea at the March hearing.

Matthews International is a publicly traded company with more than 10,000 employees at 100 facilities on six continents, according to its website.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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