Oneonta man wanted for allegedly stealing $90,000 from employer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Joseph Wayne Attaway, 38, has been charged with Theft of Property in the First Degree after detectives found that he stole nearly $90,000 from his employer over a year long period.

It is reported that Attaway worked as an accountant for a Birmingham logistics company starting in May 2014. He was responsible for overseeing the payment of vendors for the company and managing their bank accounts.

In September 2016, Attaway failed to return to work after a vacation and was terminated. Multiple accountants were assigned to reconcile the books and take over the duties that had been assigned to Attaway. The accountants found that they were unable to reconcile the accounts and requested for an audit to be conducting.

It was discovered during the audit that Attaway had created a fake vendor account using his personal checking account information. In May 2015, he started paying fraudulent invoices and transferring money directly into his personal account. He transferred $87,600 into his personal account without authorization from the company over the course of the year.

The Sheriff’s Office was contacted to investigate on September 26 and the Special Investigations Unit was assigned to follow-up on the case. Detectives have learned that Attaway used the money he stole to finance an “extravagant lifestyle.” It is reported that he used the money to buy a truck, furniture, airline tickets, food, alcohol, gifts from a gentleman’s club and made rent payments on an apartment in Homewood. Some of the stolen money was used to pay an attorney to represent him in a DUI case. It was found that he had depleted his checking account, leaving a negative balance.

Detectives obtained an arrest warrant on November 17 that charges Attaway with Theft of Property in the First Degree.

Joseph Wayne Attaway is still at large and is believed to be in the Oneonta area. If you know anything about where he is, call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 205-325-1450 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.

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