former employee of Bronner Bros

A former employee of Bronner Bros., the Marietta-based African-American hair and skin care products wholesaler, has been charged with embezzling more than $2.5 million from the company.

Veria Fields, 54, of Atlanta, was arraigned on nine counts of mail fraud relating to theft and indicted by a federal grand jury on March 4. The case is being investigated by the FBI.

“The loss amount in this case is significant,” said J. Britt Johnson, special agent in charge in the FBI Atlanta field office.

Fields was the accounts receivable manager for Bronner Bros. and also informally performed customer service functions for the company, authorities said. According to acting U.S. attorney John Horn, the charges and other information presented in court, Fields allegedly embezzled more than $2.5 million from 2006 through 2010 by offering customers unauthorized discounts of five to ten percent in exchange for cash payments made directly to her.

Afterwards, customers continued to submit orders expecting they would get the cash discounts promised by the defendant. To conceal the unauthorized discounts and the theft, Fields allegedly used her position to create false and fraudulent accounting entries, authorities said.

Fields “… helped herself to millions of the company’s dollars over several years,” Horn said.