Woman earns prison time for embezzling from trucking company

LISBON — A Hanoverton-area woman is in a federal prison for embezzling more than $600,000 from the local trucking company where she worked.

Sharon Ceasar, 49, of Haessley Road, was sentenced to 40 months in prison after pleading guilty in federal district court in Cleveland to five counts of wire fraud. She originally faced 25 counts of wire fraud, but the other 20 charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal reached with federal prosecutors.

Ceasar worked as office manager at Foster Trucking in Hanoverton from 2006 to December 2013, when she was fired. According to the indictment, shortly after being promoted to office manager she began claiming and collecting bogus overtime for herself, which eventually totalled $122,899 over the seven-year period.

Starting in 2007, Ceasar also began submitting fake paperwork to the payroll check company used by Foster Trucking, stating she was paying company truckers from her personal bank account and they should begin reimbursing her directly.

All total, she is believed to have embezzled $644,284 and was ordered to make restitution in that amount to Foster Trucking. Ceasar was also ordered to pay $10,000 to Erie Insurance after restitution is completed.

The scheme unraveled in December 2013 when James Foster, owner of Foster Trucking, became suspicious after noticing his payroll was higher than it should have been because most of his clients worked at a local mine, which had shut down for the week during deer season. Foster contacted the payroll check company, which is when he learned Ceasar had instructed the payroll company to reimburse her for allegedly paying drivers from her bank account.

Ceasar used the money to pay her personal credit card bills.

The county sheriff’s office conducted the initial investigation before turning it over to federal authorities since the crime involved wire fraud.