Originally created 07/30/05

Fraud sends woman to prison



A former company executive who bilked her employer out of almost $150,000 was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.

Donna Chapman will have to serve the federal sentence in full. She pleaded guilty in May to 51 counts of wire fraud.

"I'm just so sorry for what I've done," Ms. Chapman said Friday.

Ms. Chapman was the human resource director at Carole Fabrics. From August 2001 through Feb. 13, 2004, when she made direct deposits into employees' bank accounts, she added a payment to a bank account she set up in her own name.

In all, Ms. Chapman siphoned off $149,767 from Carole Fabrics. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Ms. Chapman faced 21 to 27 months in prison.

Her attorney asked U.S. District Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. to consider probation. Ms. Chapman said she accepted full responsibility for her deeds and is working two jobs to raise money to repay her former employer.

Judge Bowen noted the reasons for sentencing are to protect society, punish the criminal and serve as a deterrence. While Ms. Chapman doesn't pose a danger, her sentence should serve as a deterrent to others who are entrusted with money.

Ms. Chapman will be on the federal form of parole for three years after her release from prison. She must make full restitution and perform 150 hours of community service as part of her sentence.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.