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Feds: Ex-Georgia office manager stole $3.5 million to fund Tennessee tickets, trips

Alexis Stevens, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

ATLANTA — She paid for her daughter’s wedding, bought designer purses and purchased season tickets for University of Tennessee football and basketball games, according to federal investigators.

Sonya Hesenius, 59, of Suwanee, also bought a recreational vehicle, took cruises and paid for plane tickets for more than 20 family members and friends. But she stole all the money she used to pay for the lavish lifestyle, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Hesenius, a former office manager and executive assistant for an Alpharetta company, pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud this week after allegedly embezzling more than $3.5 million between 2015 and 2020, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Ryan K. Buchanan said Thursday.

“Hesenius stole millions of dollars from her employer to fund a lavish lifestyle,” Buchanan said in a news release. “Those entrusted with a fiduciary role for a company accept great responsibility. The defendant’s actions demonstrate that she cared far more about personal gain and much less about the faith and trust that her employer placed in her.”

Federal prosecutors said Hesenius made fraudulent charges on corporate credit cards and had the unnamed yard company reimburse her credit card for personal expenses. She approved all of the charges and hid the fraud by claiming they were legitimate expenses, such as newspaper advertisements, according to investigators.


“Hesenius worked in a position of trust for a company that expected her to honor that trust,” Keri Farley, FBI Atlanta special agent, said in the release. “Instead, she chose to abuse it, and her personal greed not only hurt the company, but everyone who worked for them. This plea should send the message that the FBI takes wire fraud extremely seriously and will work to hold offenders accountable.”

Hesenius is scheduled to be sentenced March 6.


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