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Act'ant Admits Elderly Client Theft

 A Georgia accountant who worked at a wealth management firm has pleaded guilty to stealing about $800,000 from an elderly client over the last 10 years. Heidi Royal, 52, of Dallas, Georgia, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in a federal court this month.

Royal admitting stealing the money from an elderly client identified only as C.K.

She provided accounting services to the female client and was the firm’s accounting manager and bill-pay supervisor which gave her access to the client’s Social Security Number and the credential’s for that the client’s investment accounts and bank accounts. Royal had once told a co-worker C.K.  like a grandmother to her.

From about June 1, 2010 through May 17, 2021, Royal stole C.K’s annuity payments, wrote more than 200 check on her bank accounts forged C.K.’s name on checks and withdrew money from the client’s bank accounts. She utilized  electronic bill payment and PayPay to steal money, along with passing herself off as C.K. in telephone conversations with financial institutions/ Royal tried to hide the theft through entries she made in C.K.’s financial records and used C.K's. SSN to open a secret bank account to disguises her involvement in the crimes.

Royal was fired by the firm after they learned that checks drawn on C.K.’s accounts had ended up in Royal’s personal accounts.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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