Pilfered union funds used to pay rent, tabs at Victoria's Secret and Kay Jewelers

EDMORE, MICH. - An office manager has admitted to pilfering more than $300,000 in union funds, which she used to pay rent and make credit payments at numerous businesses, including Victoria’s Secret and Kay Jewelers.

Stephanie Marie DeBoer, 41, wrote checks to herself for nearly four years, federal court records show. She worked as office manager and bookkeeper at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 876.

Located in the Montcalm County community of Edmore, IBEW Local 876 has more than 1,700 members, according to a union website. As office manager, DeBoer earned $55,400, federal records show.

The Cedar Springs woman was indicted earlier this year. During an appearance in federal court on Wednesday, DeBoer pleaded guilty to embezzlement and theft of union funds.  In exchange for her plea, the government agreed to dismiss a charge of failure to appear at two federal court hearings in July.

DeBoer, a mother of two, faces up to five years in prison when she returns to U.S. District Court for sentencing in February. The plea agreement also requires that she pay restitution.

 According to the plea agreement, DeBoer wrote checks to herself out of the union’s general checking account. She also obtained money by writing unauthorized checks out of the union’s safety clothing fund. Losses are pegged at more than $307,000, court records show.

The money was used to pay rent and to make payments on 10 personal credit accounts. The accounts included Verizon, Victoria's Secret, Kay Jewelers, Sam’s Club, Best Buy and Citibank.

The embezzlement ran from at least 2012 through Sept. 2015 when she worked as bookkeeper and office manager, court records show.

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