Detroit worker sentenced for embezzling $265K

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A former Detroit employee has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for embezzling more than $265,500 from the city, federal officials announced Thursday.

Prosecutors allege that while working in Detroit's audit and payroll department from 2016-17 and overseeing garnishment orders for salaries of other employees, Masharn Franklin concocted a scheme to divert city funds under her relatives' names.

Once the city issued checks in their names with amounts Franklin determined, the 53-year-old deposited the notes into joint bank accounts, investigators claim.

“Detroit employees who embezzle money from the city steal from all citizens of the city, depriving them of needed public services and projects," said United States Attorney Matthew Schneider in a statement. "The court’s sentence today vindicates the rule of law and demonstrates that such conduct will not be tolerated as the city continues its comeback.”

The FBI seized $58,000 from Franklin’s bank accounts. Besides being sentenced to prison, the Detroiter must also pay the city $207,000 in restitution and have three years of supervised release, authorities said Thursday.

“Make no mistake: city employees who exploit their positions of trust in order to enrich themselves at the expense of the taxpayers will be held accountable”, said Timothy Slater, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit FBI.