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February 20, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Bunnie Morris, 60, of Lafayette, entered a guilty plea Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Michael Hill, to defrauding more than a half million dollars from the Lafayette company where she worked.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Morris was employed as a financial accountant/bookkeeper for Waste Auditors Inc. from 2001 to 2009.  During that time, she forged signatures on numerous payroll, bonus, and expense account corporate checks processed through two banks totaling $579,050.  Not only did she forge checks and expense account information, she negotiated and received unauthorized payments in the form of pay raises and bonuses.  In order to disguise her actions, she voided all fraudulent checks that she had cashed or deposited, when in fact she negotiated and received benefits from those checks.  Morris also was not a signatory on any corporate checking account and was required to obtain signatures from supervisors before executing a transaction.
Morris faces up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine for one count of bank fraud.  Sentencing is set for June 11, 2014.

The U.S. Secret Service conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard C. Parker is prosecuting the case.

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