Extradited from Scotland, woman denies embezzling $165,000 from Missouri firm

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A woman has been extradited from Scotland to face an indictment that accuses her of embezzling $165,000 from a St. Louis-area company. 

Sarah Lynn Tweedie, now 49, was indicted in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on June 21, 2018, with three counts of mail fraud, five counts of wire fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment says Tweedie worked as a controller of a St. Louis area publishing company and was responsible for payroll processing, expense reimbursements, and paying all company bills, including company credit cards.

The indictment says that from July through January 2018, Tweedie stole from her employer in multiple ways. She used her company credit card and a card belonging to a former employee to make $138,137 in purchases, a Scottish kilt, and a $1,239 premium seat upgrade on her flight from Chicago to Glasgow. The indictment says that she used the corporate account to purchase $6,400 in Amazon gift cards.

The indictment says Tweedie also fraudulently increased her annual salary from $80,000 to $110,000 and triggered $16,086 in expense reimbursements to which she was not entitled.

Tweedie began a long-distance relationship with a Scottish man in 2015, according to extradition documents, and they became engaged in March of 2017, the month before she began working for the publishing company.

A motion seeking to have Tweedie held in jail until trial says she told her employer in December of 2017 that her fiancée had been injured in a car accident and that she needed to leave to be with him. In reality, Tweedie had applied for and received a visa to live in Scotland and did not plan to return. She was arrested on July 9, 2019, but fought extradition. In March her final appeal was denied and United States Marshals escorted her to St. Louis. 

Tweedie, formerly known as Sarah Jauregui, appeared in court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Florissant Police Department and the FBI investigated the case. The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Scotland’s Prosecution Service, also assisted. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Bateman is prosecuting the case.

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