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Former University Plaza accountant pleads guilty to theft

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A former employee of University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center yesterday pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing nearly $170,000 from the hotel.

Janet Mosier, 47, of Springfield, waived her right to a grand jury before U.S. Magistrate James C. England and pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges, according to a news release from the office of the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Mosier, who served as director of accounting services for the John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts-owned University Plaza, admitted that from January 2003 to October 2010, she stole funds from the business' petty cash account by falsely reporting inflated amounts of money spent. Through this method, Mosier admitted she diverted $169,864 into her own bank account.

For nearly eight years, a federal investigation found Mosier submitted receipts from personal expenses, and receipts obtained from family members, to support the fraudulently inflated reports in the petty cash account. Mosier altered the receipts by removing transaction dates, and many were used multiple times. The release pointed to one receipt - which actually was for her sister's dental expenses - that was used 30 times during a period of three and a half years.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich and was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Springfield Police Department.

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled following the presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office. Under federal statutes, Mosier could be subject to up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine of up to $250,000 and an order of restitution.[[In-content Ad]]

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