Woman who embezzled $1.1 million ‘to travel’ sentenced to 4-plus years

The former accountant who embezzled more than $1 million from Don Wright Realty was sentenced Wednesday in Dayton’s U.S. District Court to four years and three months in federal prison.

Deborah Yosick, 61, had pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count each of wire fraud and tax evasion and faced a maximum possible of 25 years behind bars. Wright, his wife and some employees of Don Wright Realty attended the hearing.

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“I’m truly sorry for what I’ve done,” Yosick told U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice. “I know I have to pay for what I’ve done.”

Pursuant to a civil suit filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, Yosick has agreed to pay back $1,098,778.23 to Don Wright Realty. The actual amount is minus the home Yosick signed over to Wright.

Rice ordered Yosick to pay restitution, court costs on the tax evasion charge, to be on supervised release for three years upon release from prison and to perform 100 hours of community service.

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Federal prosecutors wrote that when Yosick was caught, she said she did it because her family wanted to travel more. Defense attorney Michael Bly reiterated that on Wednesday, saying that his client didn’t have an alcohol or gambling addition, but that her “desire to travel had the same impact on her” and it “snowballed out of control … so far over her head.”

Rice said in nearly five decades in court, he’d never heard of someone embezzling because they wanted to travel more, calling it “mind-boggling” but adding there’s “no legitimate explanation.”

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Rice also said he couldn’t believe Yosick’s husband didn’t wonder where the money came from for a sauna, a $70,000 car, cruises and trips to Hawaii and Europe.

The prosecution’s sentencing memorandum indicated that on the day she was fired from the company for which she worked for 30 years, Yosick left with her daughter and grandchildren for a trip to Disneyland.

In April, Rice rejected a November 2016 plea agreement that stipulated a sentence from 18 to 36 months, saying it was too short to be appropriate. The newer deal stipulated a range from 36 to 56 months, according to court documents. A pre-sentence report recommended a sentencing range of 41 to 51 months.

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Rice said the abuse of a position of trust in Yosick’s case was “staggering,” noting that Yosick had been a friend to the Wrights, who had paid her nearly $50,000 per year and built Yosick a home at cost in 1995.

Court documents indicate Yosick controlled the business’ accounts receivable and payable with “little (or no) supervision.” Yosick stole $612,980.63 in cash and used it to buy money orders to pay her American Express bill and make it look in records that it was Wright’s Amex bill.

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Rice said Yosick’s “egregious breach of trust” included the fact that she only admitted to about 10 percent of her total theft and that the embezzlement happened starting in 2010 when the business faced the “worst housing market in generations.”

Bly asked that Rice recommend that Yosick, who now lives in Orlando, be housed in a facility near her family in West Virginia. Rice allowed Yosick to voluntarily surrender to the U.S. Marshals or the prison she is assigned to in the next 30 to 45 days.


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