Posted: Nov 4, 2021 / 9:33 PM EDT
Updated: November 4, 2021 / 9:39 PM EDT

ATHENS, Ga. (WRBL) – A Georgia accountant pleaded guilty to wire transfer fraud.

FBI investigators found that Suzanne Brooks, 42, of Bogart, Georgia, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from her customers in order to pay for her own personal credit card balances, as well as her husbands various credit accounts, luxury items and living expenses. Some of the fraudulent purchases are:

  • Utilities for your home
  • Restaurants
  • First class travel
  • Inventory for their ancillary business
  • Insurance payments
  • Shopping online
  • fine jewelry
  • they and their husbands have different credit card balances

To make these payments, Brooks wrote dozens of checks to himself and ultimately stole a total of $ 659,106.38 from the victims.

To cover up their thefts, Brooks falsified income statements to make the stores less profitable, to hide the stolen money and altered bank statements.

Brooks now faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a US $ 250,000 fine.

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Research shows Brooks has been an accountant for six straight years since 2013. She worked for two Georgia real estate owners, overseeing a variety of accounts that gave her access to checks and online banking for the real estate companies at several FDIC-insured institutions.

Acting US Attorney Peter D. Leary said in a press release the impact Brooks had on victims and other small businesses.

“These small business owners found their family businesses less lucrative, even though the trusted accountant skimmed off some of the profits to finance their lifestyle. Fraud has negative effects that too often lead to the downfall of a small business, leaving people unemployed, and undoing years of effort and hard work. Our office, along with our law enforcement partners, will hold fraudsters accountable for their crimes and the damage they cause. “

Another FBI agent spoke on the subject of fraud and shared how much effort law enforcement will go into helping the victims.

“Brooks has violated the trust of its customers and now has to pay the price for these actions,” said Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of the FBI Atlanta. “The FBI is committed to protecting our citizens and will pursue anyone who greedily deceives innocent victims.”

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The case has been investigated by the FBI.

U.S. Assistant Attorney Lyndie Freeman is pursuing the case.