Busted: Feds charge cashier with stealing $9.5 million

A fur coat, jewelry and a watch: Items that cashier Cynthia Mills is accused of purchasing after she allegedly embezzled $9.5 million from her former employer.

Story highlights

  • Mills allegedly cashed company checks, then used wire transfers to put company money into personal accounts
  • Millions were embezzled over span of 16 years

(CNN)What would you buy with $9.5 million?

Luxury cars? High-end jewelery? Designer purses? That's what authorities say Cynthia Mills did with the millions of dollars she embezzled from her (now former) employer, Matthews International Corporation.
Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, claim Mills -- a former cashier and treasure specialist -- stole $9.5 million from the company between 1999 and 2015.
    Matthews International is a publicly traded company that specializes in cemetery products, ornate engravings and manufacturing cast bronze plaques for memorials and monuments.
    From homes to fine furs, Mills is accused of funding a lavish lifestyle that authorities are calling one of the largest embezzlement cases in western Pennsylvania history.
    Mills is accused of buying several cars and boats with the stolen money.
    Some of her alleged big-ticket item purchases included a 47-foot yacht, three Mercedes Benz cars and Harley Davidson motorcycles, court documents revealed.
    Dozens of Louis Vuitton handbags and expensive gold, silver and diamond jewelry rounded out her collection.

    Cashing out

    Instead of depositing checks payable to Matthews' into the company's bank account, Mills allegedly cashed company checks, then used wire transfers to put company money into accounts in her name, or her husband's name, paperwork filed in federal court on Tuesday revealed. Her husband has not been charged.
    Court documents state Mills is charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.
    A few houses and several dozens of Louis Vuitton handbags were also purchased with the stolen, authorities said.
    Mills, who is not currently in custody, is expected to enter a guilty plea at a hearing on March 15, defense attorney Phillip DiLucente said.
    DiLucente says she's cooperating with the investigation.
    "She's been cooperating continuously with the authorities and will continue to cooperate with them for anything and everything they ask of her," DiLucente told CNN.
    He also said Mills has willingly relinquished every asset of any value for the purpose of having restitution in the case.