Alpharetta, GA

Georgia Woman Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Embezzling Over $3.5 Million

Desiree Haros

Sonya Hesenius, a former office manager and executive assistant in Alpharetta, Georgia, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud for embezzling over $3.5 million from her employer between 2015 and 2020. The elaborate scheme involved fraudulent charges on corporate credit cards, concealing expenditures, and funding a lavish lifestyle, as revealed by U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan.

Hesenius, while employed at a company providing yard care services, abused her position of trust by making unauthorized charges on corporate credit cards. To cover her tracks, she manipulated the company's records, coded and approved charges herself, and disguised them as legitimate expenses, such as newspaper advertisements. The embezzlement was further concealed by spreading expenditures across different job sites.

The embezzled funds were used to finance a luxurious lifestyle, including her daughter's wedding at the Barnsley Resort, cash transfers through PayPal, Venmo, and Square, high-end fashion items from Louis Vuitton and Chanel, plane flights for herself and over 20 family members and friends, season tickets for University of Tennessee football and basketball teams, a recreational vehicle, hotels, furniture, cruises, and various clothing items. In total, Hesenius misappropriated more than $3.5 million.

Sonya Hesenius, 59, residing in Suwanee, Georgia, has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. The sentencing is scheduled for March 6, 2024, at 10:00 am before U.S. District Judge Victoria M. Calvert. U.S. Attorney Buchanan emphasized the seriousness of wire fraud and the responsibility that comes with fiduciary roles, highlighting the FBI's commitment to holding offenders accountable.

The case of Sonya Hesenius serves as a stark reminder of the consequences individuals face when breaching the trust placed in them by their employers. As legal proceedings unfold, the impact of her actions on the company and its employees becomes evident, emphasizing the importance of maintaining integrity in professional roles that involve financial responsibilities.

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