On Friday, a 47-year-old bookkeeper from Midland, Texas pleaded guilty to stealing more than $1.5 million from her employer. Mary Elisa Salazar pleaded guilty to stealing money from an oil well leasing company. The defendant pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of making and filing a false Income Tax. The defendant admitted that from 2011 to 2016 she embezzled funds from the business by writing unauthorized checks to herself.

Salazar admitted to hiding her actions by falsifying bank reconciliation statements or omitting checks from the accounting system. In total, the company lost $1,588,518 due to the illegal scheme. The defendant also confessed to filing false Income Tax returns for the 2011 to 2016 tax years. She substantially understated her income, adjusted gross income and taxable income.

Court records show that Salazar owes the IRS an estimated $540,000 in unpaid taxes. The defendant remains on bond pending her sentencing. A sentencing date has not yet been set. Salazar faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for wire fraud and three years in prison for the tax charge. Additional details can be found here.

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