NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Chesapeake businesswoman was sentenced Thursday to 42 months in prison for a $1 million fraud and embezzlement scheme.
Tonya Saxby, 46, was also ordered to pay over $1 million in restitution for “engaging in a fraudulent rental agreement scheme and embezzling monies entrusted to her for postage.”
According to court documents, Saxby owned and operated Mail Solutions of Virginia LLC, which was an authorized dealer for Neopost (now Quadient) — a mail shipping and document solutions company out of Connecticut.
Neopost manufactured mail processing equipment and leased it by way of rental agreements to customers across the nation.
When Saxby was an agent for Neopost, she negotiated monthly equipment rental agreements with Ferguson Enterprises — a company in Newport News.
Saxby allegedly negotiated monthly rental payments that were significantly lower than Neopost’s pricing guidelines, knowing that Neopost would not have approved them.
Court documents say she created 82 false and fraudulent rental agreements, forged the signatures of Ferguson Enterprises employees onto them, and sent them to Neopost. Neither Neopost nor Ferguson Enterprises were aware of the fraudulent rental agreements.
The documents also say that Saxby earned $91,707.29 in commissions to which she was not entitled.
When Neopost discovered the fraud, “it reclaimed and disposed of the equipment it had delivered to Ferguson Enterprises, resulting in a loss to Neopost of $801,634.46,” according to the court records.
Saxby also allegedly “embezzled monies provided to her by customers for the purpose of purchasing postage from the U.S. Postal Service to load onto postal meters installed on their equipment, resulting in a loss of $38,544.32 to the U.S. Postal Service, which had already loaded the postage.”
“She embezzled an additional $91,112.21 from customers that entrusted her with money to purchase postage. The total loss sustained by victims as a result of Saxby’s fraud was $1,022,998.28.”
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
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