Leavenworth woman sentenced, must pay $4.3 million in restitution

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Federal labor officials say a Leavenworth businesswoman has been sentenced to more than four years in prison and ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution for embezzling from companies she owned.

Brenda Wood was sentenced this week on two counts of bank fraud and one count of theft from an employee benefit plan.

Wood was the focus of a 41 Action News investigation in 2014.

Several years earlier, she recruited some investors to pay millions of dollars to purchase a downtown building before the deal collapsed.

Investors accused her of check kiting and running a Ponzi scheme.

Wood owned Professional Cleaning and Innovative Building Services, a commercial cleaning services company in Kansas City, Missouri, and four businesses in Bonner Springs, Kansas.

She had a history of not paying her janitors.

"My main question is where's the money?" asked Jim Mabrey, who worked for Wood.

Prosecutors said she embezzled from employees' 401(k) plans and took about $4.3 million from fraudulent loans and identity theft.

Specifically, she was charged with opening bank accounts using a stolen social security number which belonged to one of her janitors.

She also received a $350,000 line of credit after falsely telling a Great Bend bank that her cleaning company had a contract with the IRS building in Kansas City, Missouri.

Wood filed for bankruptcy claiming she was millions of dollars in debt.

Court documents show Wood owes anywhere from $2,000 to a former employee to $3 million to Farmers Bank and Trust.

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