New England Oil Employee Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $176K

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Michelle Crawford, 33, of Greenwich, waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Hartford federal court to one count of wire fraud stemming from her embezzlement of more than $176,000 from her employer.

The plea was announced by Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Crawford worked as the office manager for the New England Oil Company (“NEOC”) located in Greenwich, where she had access to the bank accounts, credit cards and the payment system.

Between May 2011 and May 2014, Crawford embezzled approximately $176,735 from NEOC by making unauthorized withdrawals and using company funds to pay personal expenses while disguising them in company records as legitimate NEOC expenses.

Crawford is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on July 29, 2015, at which time she faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, the Greenwich Police Department and the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.