Statesville, North Carolina, US (AP) – A former CEO has been charged with embezzling more than $15 million from her employer and using stolen money to pursue a luxurious lifestyle, including travel, jewelry and family weddings, according to federal prosecutors.
Donna Ossuite Steele, of Taylorsville, North Carolina, also used the money she stole to fund a personal business run by her family, according to a document US Attorney Dina King’s office filed in court on Friday.
Steele is accused of wire fraud. The files posted online do not indicate the name of your attorney or the date of your first court appearance.
The name of the company that hired Steele does not appear in the court filing. However, the plaintiffs said it was a subsidiary of a foreign company that manufactures carbide products used for saw-cutting in the timber-related sector. The owners of the company live abroad, according to the file.
Steele joined the company in 1999 and was CEO when she was laid off in January 2020.
Prosecutors said Steele used company credit cards, checks and wire transfers to steal the money. She allegedly paid for accommodation at the Plaza Hotel in New York City for $255,000, jewelry for over $500,000, family wedding expenses for over $200,000, and flowers for over $100,000.
Steele also transferred embezzled money worth more than $350,000 to a luxury clothing and furniture company called Opoles by Steel that she ran, according to court records.
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