(STL.News) – Anne Gronek-Gibbs has been arraigned on federal charges of wire fraud for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Coca-Cola Company.
“The defendant used her employer’s money to pay for trips, jewelry and expensive hand-bags,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Employees who are trusted with access to corporate funds are not entitled to use them to enrich themselves. This case is a reminder that all entities should have strong internal controls and a robust compliance program to prevent this type of fraud.”
“When someone is elevated to a position of leadership in a company, it is a sign of that company’s trust in the integrity and honesty of the person chosen to lead,” said Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, Chris Hacker. “When someone violates that trust and abuses their position, as is alleged in these charges, the FBI stands ready to hold them accountable.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: Gronek-Gibbs was a sales director who allegedly used her position to obtain personal goods and services from Coca-Cola Company suppliers and had 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 which she then submitted to Coca-Cola for payment. Ultimately, Gronek-Gibbs purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of gift cards, jewelry, handbags, and purses using this system and, all told, embezzled over $450,000.
Anne Gronek-Gibbs, 41, of Atlanta, Georgia, was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher C. Bly. The government filed an information charging Gronek-Gibbs on October 28, 2019.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating 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, is prosecuting the case.