DA: West Chester woman stole $1 million from employer

WEST CHESTER, Pa. - April 28, 2014

Joyce Hawkins, 59, of the 400 block of Caswallen Drive, stole the money while working as a senior-level employee for ModSpace, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said on Monday.

According to investigators, Hawkins was the director of compensation and benefits for ModSpace, which is a supplier of "both permanent and temporary modular construction."

The DA said Hawkins set up a 'dummy entity' called Caring Hearts LLC, using the names of former employees as part of the payments to cover up the transactions.

She also allegedly listed her daughter as the president of Caring Hearts.

Between 2010 and 2014, investigators say Hawkins embezzled $1,035,763.55 from ModSpace.

In addition, investigators say Hawkins announced she was resigning from ModSpace in early April and allegedly tried to make two more payments worth another $122,000 to Caring Hearts before her last day.

The DA said she used the money to buy her $390,000 home in West Chester, a$417,000 vacation home in the Chesapeake Bay area - 10706 Mallard Point Road in Chestertown, Md. - and two boats.

This went on, the DA said, while Hawkins was earning more than $200,000 per year working for ModSpace.

The alleged activity was discovered after Hawkins announced her resignation, Hogan said. ModSpace contacted Chester County Detectives, who began the investigation.

Hawkins was charged with felony theft, forgery, and related charges.

She has posted $100,000 bail.

Hawkins' attorney Hilary Styer had little to say, telling us, "At this time we have no comment. Just that Miss Hawkins looks forward to her day in court."

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