FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A former Benton County employee charged in a $1 million embezzlement case has pleaded guilty, according to court records.
Connie Guild was the former accounts payable and grants manager for the county. She pleaded guilty on Thursday.
She was investigated by the FBI and IRS in 2016 for embezzlement and falsifying records back in 2008. Guild was fired from her position in 2016.
Court records state Guild pleaded guilty to theft concerning programs that receive federal funds and subscribing to a false income tax return. As part of her guilty plea, she agreed to a money judgment of $1,033,762.20.
In 2005, Guild started working in the Benton County Accounting Department, and in 2007, she was put in charge of the Benton County Travel Fund.
Around that time, according to court documents, Guild started turning in false claims for the travel fund to the Benton County Treasurer. From 2007 to 2016, she embezzled $1,033,762.20 through the submission of false claims.
From 2007 to 2015, she filed federal income tax returns reporting wages from Benton County, but Guild didn’t report the embezzled income she gained during those years, authorities say. Total unpaid taxes for that time is estimated to be between $250,000 and $550,000, court records state.
Guild will be sentenced at a later date.
(Curt Lanning for NWA)