Woman gets prison time, embezzled $100,000 plus from Texarkana lawyer

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A woman who forged her boss’ signature on business checks while working as his paralegal and officer manager was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison this week for bank fraud.

Ashley Meree Wilde, 29, appeared before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III for sentencing Monday in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas with federal public defender Ken Hawk at her side. Wilde worked for Texarkana attorney Howard Mowery from mid-2012 until she was fired for embezzlement in July 2014, according to documents on file in the case. Wilde repeatedly wrote checks to herself and forged Mowery’s signature on checks for accounts at Regions Bank and Red River Federal Credit Union during the months before she was caught.

As part of her plea agreement, Wilde must pay $110,000 in restitution and will be supervised by federal probation officials for five years after she is released from federal prison. Wilde pleaded guilty to the first of five counts listed in an indictment handed down in 2015. Schroeder dismissed the four remaining counts at the request of Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Locker.

Wilde was allowed to remain free on an existing $5,000 unsecured bond but must report to federal prison officials to begin serving her time on or before March 1.

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