News and Press Releases

Kellie Mae Henderson Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on April 11, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, KELLIE MAE HENDERSON, a 36-year-old resident of Sun River, appeared for sentencing. HENDERSON was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 33 months

Special Assessment: $100

Restitution: $221,804.91

Supervised Release: 5 years

HENDERSON was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to mail fraud/embezzlement.

HENDERSON was a bookkeeper/secretary for Sound Air, Inc., a Great Falls manufacturer of and local representative for HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) equipment. HENDERSON started working for the company in January 2001, and had check-signing authority over the bank accounts of Sound Air. HENDERSON's duties included invoicing, bill reconciliation and payment, payroll, and other regular financial business activities.

Between September 15, 2005, and April 13, 2010, HENDERSON wrote and transacted Sound Air checks for her own use and to pay her own personal debt obligations. Most of the money embezzled from the company was used to pay credit card debt. HENDERSON would issue checks to her various credit card companies, send them through the mail, and then alter the books of the business by changing the name of the payee in the Sound Air's computer software. The most frequently used alias payee was Greenheck Fan Corporation, and she would post the payments to a "cost of goods" sold accounting code. HENDERSON was the only Sound Air employee that used the Quickbooks business software and access to that information was password protected so that only she could access, use, and manipulate the financial data of the company. Sound Air uses Prairie Mountain Bank, an FDIC insured institution, for its business banking.

When HENDERSON was fired, she acknowledged to the owner of the business that she was aware that she was being fired for theft. HENDERSON retained counsel and has not given any statements to law enforcement.

The total amount of fraudulent checks was $221,804.91.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that HENDERSON will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, HENDERSON does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



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