A Leavenworth businesswoman has been sentenced to more than four years in prison and ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

A Leavenworth businesswoman has been sentenced to more than four years in prison and ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Brenda Wood was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, for two counts of bank fraud and one count of theft from an employee benefit plan.

She previously pleaded guilty to the charges.

Sentencing comes after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor and FBI found Wood committed crimes while she was the owner and fiduciary for several companies.

Wood owned Professional Cleaning and Innovative Building Services, a commercial cleaning services company in Kansas City, Missouri, as well as four Bonner Springs businesses – Commercial Development and Management, Action Real Estate Services, G&W Investments and Riverview Crossings.

In November 2010, Wood established the PCI Building Services 401(k) plan for the retirement benefits of employees of Professional Cleaning and Innovative Building Services and Commercial Development and Management.

From about May 2011 through August 2012, Wood unlawfully embezzled and converted approximately $31,403 in deferred contributions from employee salaries to the 401(k) plan, according to the news release.

The court-ordered restitution includes $69,000 in employee and matching employer contributions, as well as lost earnings due to the 401(k) plan, and approximately $4.3 million for fraudulent loans and identity theft.

Wood was sentenced to a total of 50 months, or four years and two months, in prison for the charges.

Wood reportedly assured employees who confronted her about missing 401(k) contributions that Nationwide Life Insurance Company held their funds in escrow when, in fact, she had already used their contributions for her own benefit without their permission, according to the news release.

Wood also is reported to have falsely accused her company’s accountant of embezzlement, and falsely claimed her former in-house counsel and human resources manager were responsible for the 401(k) plan.

In addition, she made false statements to Farmers Bank and Trust of Great Bend, claiming Professional Cleaning and Innovative Building Services had received a contract for cleaning services at an IRS facility in Kansas City, Missouri, when the company failed to make the final round of bids. Based on her statements, the bank extended a $350,000 line of credit on which Wood submitted withdraw requests, stating she needed the funds to fulfill the IRS contract, according to the release.

“Fraudulent transactions like these have a severe impact on companies and individuals,” Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Jim Purcell said in the news release. “The actions can cause irreparable damage to the retirement savings of individuals and their future financial security.”

The Employee Benefits Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Wood also created a check-kiting scheme to inflate her bank account balances artificially. She exchanged and cross-deposited more than 473 insufficient fund checks between her accounts at Capital Federal Savings Bank, Intrust Bank and the Credit Union of Leavenworth County, according to the news release.

Employers and workers can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at www.dol.gov/ebsa