NASHVILLE – Michelle Nixon, 48, of Chicago and formerly of Nashville, pleaded guilty today to a scheme to defraud her former employer of more than $1.2 million, according to David Rivera, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Nixon pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger.
During the plea hearing, Nixon admitted, from June 2009 until August 2013, she embezzled more than $1.2 million from Touchstone Medical Imaging LLC, a provider of medical imaging services based in Brentwood, where she served as the regional controller. Nixon admitted generating fraudulent checks totaling more than $1.2 million made payable to a company that she owned, despite lacking any permission or authority to do so and despite the fact her company provided no goods or services to Touchstone.
Nixon also admitted generating additional fraudulent checks that were made payable to herself and took steps to conceal her fraud, including making false entries in the corporate ledger. Nixon used funds derived from the fraudulent checks to buy automobiles, jewelry, luxury items and other goods.
On Feb. 14, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents seized various items from Nixon’s home in Nashville purchased with proceeds from the fraud. Among the items seized were a Mercedes Benz sedan, a Range Rover sport utility vehicle, jewelry, fur coats and various luxury items sold by Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Jimmy Choo, Versace and others.
Nixon is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 16. She faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, and has also agreed to pay nearly $1.3 million in restitution to Touchstone and forfeit the proceeds of her crime to the U.S.
The FBI investigated the case, which was prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorney William F. Abely.