SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A woman from Ash Grove, Missouri, pleaded guilty to embezzling over $362,000 from her employer as well as owing nearly $1 million in taxes.

Carrie Leigh Long, 52, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of wire fraud and one count of failure to pay employment taxes. She was employed at Executive Coach Builders Inc. in Springfield, Missouri, and at Executive Bus Builders Inc.

Long admitted to using her position as an in-house accountant for the two companies to look at the companies’ check stock and write checks against the companies’ bank accounts for unapproved payments to herself. She also stole money by forging signatures and amounts on the checks.

The IRS did not get payments from Long from April 2019 to March 2020 for federal income taxes as well as FICA taxes the companies withheld from employees’ paychecks and employer portions of payroll taxes. Long owes the IRS $902,226 altogether.

To keep these illegal acts a secret, Long would alter bank account statements for the companies and misrepresent them on her financial reports. When the IRS tried to collect the tax payments, Long claimed they had been paid and showed the altered bank statements.

The plea agreement states Long must pay $1,329,440 in restitution to the companies she stole from and the IRS as well as statutory interest on the amounts due and owing to the IRS. She is subject to a sentence of up to 25 years in federal prison without parole.