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Jefferson City woman admits to embezzling from employer

A Jefferson City woman admitted Thursday to embezzling more than $65,000 from her job with a construction contractor.

Laura Lynn Winge, 47, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Jefferson City to a count of bank fraud and a count of theft from an employee benefit program. Winge was a bookkeeper for Turk’s Construction, Inc., and an affiliated company, Pools Unlimited, LLC, from July 2009 to March 11, 2016.

Winge admitted she took $56,876 of the IRA plan deferrals from employees’ payroll between Jan. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2016, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release. She also admitted she never forwarded $38,913 in employer matching contributions during the same time, the release said, instead keeping the money in the company’s operating accounts and using the employee deferrals for her benefit. Winge also took an additional $49,214, according to the release.

Winge also admitted to writing $12,871 in unauthorized payroll checks to herself; inflating her work hours to get $19,073 in unauthorized pay; spending $5,447 in unauthorized charges on the companies’ credit card and taking $11,822 meant to be health insurance premiums for her dependents, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Winge also admitted to getting $16,316 in products and services from the companies she worked for and a related company, Midwest Welding, the release said.

Winge is facing 35 years in prison without parole. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

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