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July 2, 2013

SHREVEPORT, La. United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Vongphanet J. “Joe” Siharath, 40, of Bossier City, La., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to 41 months in prison with five years of supervised release for bank fraud. He was also ordered to pay $1,057,949 in restitution.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Siharath admitted to forging signatures of doctors associated with the medical practice of Cardiology Associates in Shreveport where he was office manager from Jan. 22, 2008 to July 25, 2012. He forged approximately 48 checks and purchased one cashier’s check, with a total loss of $1,057,949 to Cardiology and Associates. The forged checks were made payable to various payees. Siharath controlled each account the money was deposited into.

Beginning on Jan. 30, 2009 until July 25, 2012, the defendant also obtained loans to cover the money taken because of the forged checks. The loan officer at the bank allowed the defendant to leave with the bank paperwork to have it signed by various doctors. Instead, the defendant forged the doctors’ names.

The U.S. Secret Service and the Caddo Parish White Collar Crime Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mignonne Griffing prosecuted the case.

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