Former Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud, Tax Evasion


An Ocean View woman has admitted to charges of wire fraud and tax evasion in a case that federal prosecutors say cost her former employer more than one-million dollars.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware, 55-year-old Joan Donald entered her plea in federal court Wednesday.
Donald was a bookkeeper for Dovetail, a Bethany Beach interior design company. Court documents and statements in open court indicate that Donald used company funds to pay her personal credit card bills over more than seven years.

“Dovetail’s story is a remarkable example of the American dream, a small business built from the ground up by a single mother of four. Month after month, year after year, however, Joan Donald breached the trust placed in her and used Dovetail as her own private ATM, effectively bankrupting the business and owner in the process. Thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners, Donald is now a convicted felon,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David Weiss said.

“Today’s sentence has put an end to Joan Donald’s flagrant actions and complete disrespect of the law.  For years Donald was a trusted insider who preyed on her employer by stealing funds to financially enrich herself,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski added. “Those who abuse their position of trust for their own financial greed will not be tolerated. The FBI and our partners will continue to uncover those committing fraud and causing harm to businesses and individuals for personal gain.” 

Donald faces up to 20 years in prison when she is sentenced in August, but sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.

“No matter what the source of income, all income is taxable,” IRS Special Agent in Charge Criminal Investigation Division Yury Kruty said.  “Joan Donald embezzled from her employer and then failed to report the misappropriated funds as income on her personal income tax returns.  Dovetail directly suffered from Donald’s scheme, and all of the honest taxpayers were also indirectly victimized by Donald’s crimes.”