Holy background check, Batman: NC woman embezzles for third time. Total take: $1.35m

·2 min read

An unspoken question hung over Lisa Hill’s plea hearing in Charlotte on Tuesday:

Why do people keep hiring her to take care of their money?

For the third time in less than a decade, the 41-year-old Belmont woman pleaded guilty to stealing from her employer.

In 2012, according to court documents, Lisa Buza Hill rode off with more than $800,000 from Indian Motorcycles of Kings Mountain where she worked as a senior accountant. When confronted by her bosses about the thefts, Hill sent a series of bogus emails posing as an attorney and assuring the company that it would be repaid from a series of nonexistent trust accounts, documents show.

Last July, while she was still paying the Indian Motorcycles money back, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte charged her with issuing 15 checks to herself between September 2019 and February 2020 drawn on the accounts of an unnamed Charlotte-based company, which had hired Hill to be its comptroller. Total take: $22,000.

Federal prosecutors also said Hill made false statements to them as they attempted to collect what she still owed from her 2012 court-ordered restitution.

With her new charges on the fraudulent-check scheme still hanging over her, Hill doubled down, times 10.

According to federal charges filed this month, Hill pocketed $550,000 from a Rock Hill development company that had hired her as chief financial officer.

Court documents don’t list that company’s name. But an online search reveals that Hill served as CFO for GRH Development Resources, the developer of Riverwalk, Rock Hill’s sprawling residential community and multi-use recreational site along the Catawba River.

From May 2020 to January 2021, according to prosecutors, Hill funneled company money to herself to make car payments on a BMW, cover her mortgage, and finance a trip to Disney World. Hill also used some what she stole from GRH to repay what she embezzled from the previous stops on her resume, prosecutors say.

Hill’s court documents don’t explain how she kept getting hired for senior financial positions, given her criminal history.

Tuesday, she pleaded guilty to U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer to wire fraud and making false statements She remains in federal custody and will be sentenced at a later date.

Altogether, Hill has stolen more than $1.35 million, most of which she will have to repay. Based on her history, the government may want to keep her tab open.

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