Seattle woman sentenced for embezzling $2.1M from local business

A 57-year-old Seattle woman was sentenced to a year in prison for embezzling $2.1 million from a local fitness company.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown announced Thursday that Michele Sharar was sentenced to one year and one day for wire fraud, funneling millions of dollars from her long-time employer to her personal bank accounts to use for online shopping.

According to court documents, Sharar had worked at Emerald City Athletics and Emerald City Health Properties for more than 25 years, eventually rising to the role of chief financial officer (CFO).

From 2014 to 2017 the company owner faced medical issues, and during that time, Sharar began stealing money from the company.

The court found Sharer stole a total of $2,144,551 by depositing third party checks to her personal account, transferring money from company accounts to her own, writing checks on company accounts and depositing them to her accounts—and then falsifying financial reports to hide the embezzlement.

Court documents say that in 2018, Sharar admitted to her employer she had embezzled the money and promised to pay it back.

The employer asked the court to not impose prison time on Sharer, but U.S. District Judge John Coughenour argued it was important she serve time.

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Sharar will serve one year and one day in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. She must also pay $2,144,551 in restitution.