Woman pleads guilty to embezzling over $1M from local business

Posted at 6:02 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 19:02:21-04


A local woman faces time in prison for embezzling over $1 million from a Kansas City business to use on personal expenses. 

Janee C. Rosenthal, 56, pleaded guilty to stealing the money from Firestone Optics on Chouteau Pkwy. and 33rd Terr. 

According to court documents, Rosenthal worked at Firestone Optics since 2000. In 2013, the company was bought by Diversified Ophthalmics, Inc., a contact lenses manufacturer. At that time, Rosenthal was promoted to division director and controller. 

As part of her duties, she was entrusted with the authority to sign checks and control credit card payments for the company. 

Court documents say Rosenthal used that authority to defraud the company out of money she used to make payments on her personal credit card. 

As part of the scheme, Rosenthal would sign checks on behalf of the company to issue payments to her personal credit card. 

She also falsified documents to cover wire transfers to her personal credit card. 

Court documents say she wrote in Firestone Optics’ accounting ledgers that the money was going to pay off a vendor or other business. In reality, the money was being transferred to her personal credit account. 

Rosenthal used company money to cover travel and hotel purchases, clothing, jewelry and more. Court documents say in one instance she used the money to go on a Norwegian cruise. 

Rosenthal was indicted on Friday and agreed to a plea deal the same day.

As part of the agreement, she pleaded guilty to two charges of mail fraud and two charges of wire fraud. She also agreed to forfeit $1,097,448 to the government. 

Rosenthal was released from federal custody to await sentencing at a later date. She faces up to 20 years in prison on each charge.