Woman accused of stealing $3.1M from Cargill pleads guilty

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Cargill account manager admitted to stealing $3.1 million from the company on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Diana Backis, 50, of Athens, N.Y., pleaded guilty Monday to stealing at least $3.1 million over the past 10 years.

Backis pleaded guilty to mail fraud and filing a false income tax return charges.

“Ms. Backis stole millions of dollars from her employer in a decade-long scheme to enrich herself so she could live beyond her means,” U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian said. “She stole money by diverting customer payments to her personal bank accounts and sold grain products for millions less than her employer paid, causing enormous financial losses.  Her guilty plea today sends a strong message that crime does not pay.”

Backis faces up to 20 years in prison, a three-year term of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 when she is sentenced on March 28, 2017, by U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino.

As part of her guilty plea, the U.S. DOJ says Backis has agreed to pay Cargill at least $3.5 million in restitution, and to forfeiture of her house in Athens, an investment brokerage account, and her Cargill pension benefits.

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