(STL.News) – Anne Gronek-Gibbs, a former sales director for the Coca-Cola Company, has been sentenced for embezzling over $750,000 from the company. The defendant ordered luxury goods, tickets, gift cards, first class travel, and luxury hotel accommodations for personal trips, all paid for by the company.
“The defendant abused the trust her employer placed in her and stole to finance a lavish lifestyle,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Gronek-Gibbs believed her invoice-changing scheme would cover her theft. Instead, she is headed to prison.”
“Gronek-Gibbs violated the trust of the company that hired her and elevated her to a position of leadership,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Because of her self-interest and greed she has not only thrown away a lucrative career, but will spend time in prison for her crime.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: Anne Gronek-Gibbs was a sales director who used her position to obtain personal goods and services from suppliers of the Coca-Cola Company and have the company pay for those goods and services. She ordered luxury goods, tickets, and gift cards and also booked first class travel, and had Coca-Cola pay for luxury hotel accommodations for personal trips. Gronek-Gibbs modified electronic versions of quotes, purchase orders, and invoices from vendors that she then submitted to Coca-Cola for payment. Ultimately, she purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of gift cards, jewelry, handbags, and purses using this system and, all told, embezzled over $750,000.
Anne Gronek-Gibbs, 42, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Boulee to one year in prison and 25 months of home detention, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $753,551. Gronek-Gibbs was convicted on these charges on November 19, 2019, after she pleaded guilty.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case, with assistance from the Atlanta Police Department Major Fraud Unit.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Huber, Deputy Chief of the Complex Frauds Section, prosecuted the case.