Ex-CEO charged with embezzling $15M to fund lavish lifestyle

Dec 18, 2021, 12:28 PM | Updated: 12:35 pm

STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A former CEO has been charged with embezzling more than $15 million from her employer and using stolen money to pay for a lavish lifestyle, including travel, jewelry and family weddings, according to federal prosecutors.

Donna Osowitt Steele, of Taylorsville, North Carolina, also used stolen money to fund personal businesses run by her family, according to a court filing Friday by U.S. Attorney Dena King’s office.

Steele is charged with one count of wire fraud. Online court records don’t list an attorney for her or a date for an initial court appearance.

The company that employed Steele isn’t named in the court filing. But prosecutors said it’s a subsidiary of a foreign corporation and makes carbide products used in saw blades for the woodworking industry. The company owners live overseas, the filing says.

Steele joined the company in 1999 and was serving as its CEO when she was fired in January 2020.

Prosecutors said Steele used company credit cards, checks and wire transfers to steal company funds. She allegedly charged approximately $255,000 for stays at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, more than $500,000 for jewelry, over $200,000 for family wedding expenses and more than $100,000 for flowers.

Steele also transferred more than $350,000 in embezzled money to a high-end clothing and furniture business that she operated called Opulence by Steele, according to the court filing.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

French airport workers strike for higher pay amid inflation

PARIS (AP) — Flights from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and other French airports faced disruptions Friday as airport workers held a strike and protests to demand salary hikes to keep up with inflation. The labor action is the latest trouble to hit global airports this summer, as travel resurges after two years of […]
1 hour ago
A fisherman Ng Koon-hee catches a fish in Tai O village of Hong Kong, Saturday, June 25, 2022. The ...
Associated Press

Hong Kong fishermen keep old ways, 25 years after handover

HONG KONG (AP) — Ng Koon-yau calmly pilots his small fishing boat through the azure waters of the South China Sea. The 79-year-old has been fishing ever since he can remember. Ng and his 76-year-old brother Ng Koon-hee came to Hong Kong from Taishan in Guangdong province, across the border in the Chinese mainland, as […]
1 hour ago
A currency trader walks by the screen showing the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and Sou...
Associated Press

Asian shares mostly lower after pessimistic ‘tankan’ survey

TOKYO (AP) — Asian benchmarks were mostly lower on Friday, echoing a decline on Wall Street, after a quarterly report by Japan’s central bank rekindled worries about the world’s third largest economy. Shares fell in Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney and Shanghai. Markets were closed in Hong Kong for a holiday. Recent data suggest global growth is […]
1 hour ago
FILE - WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for ...
Associated Press

Trial for US basketball star begins in Moscow-area court

MOSCOW (AP) — U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner is set to go on trial in a Moscow-area court Friday, about 4 1/2 months after she was arrested on cannabis possession charges at an airport while traveling to play for a Russian team. The Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist could face up […]
1 day ago
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a joint news conference with Indonesian President Joko Wid...
Associated Press

Putin’s week: Facing NATO expansion, West’s unity on Ukraine

It has not been an easy week for Russian President Vladimir Putin. He took his first foreign trip since the invasion of Ukraine to shore up relations with troublesome Central Asian allies. He watched as NATO declared Moscow its main enemy and invited Russia’s neighbors Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. And he was […]
1 day ago
A roadside cotton candy vendor drinks water from a plastic pouch as he waits for customers at a wee...
Associated Press

India bans some single-use plastic as part of broader plan

NEW DELHI (AP) — India banned some single-use or disposable plastic products Friday as part of a federal plan to phase out the ubiquitous material in the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people. For the first stage, it has identified 19 plastic items that aren’t very useful but have a high potential to become litter […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Ex-CEO charged with embezzling $15M to fund lavish lifestyle