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Press Release

Former Phoenix Resident Sentenced To 44 Months for Embezzlement

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

     PHOENIX – Yesterday, Shana Raelisa Johnson, 35, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi to 44 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution. Johnson had previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud.


     From 2008 through 2014, Johnson worked as an accountant at a property management company based in Phoenix, Arizona. During that time, she stole more than $2.4 million from her employer by issuing fraudulent checks and making unauthorized electronic transfers from her employer’s bank accounts. After the Phoenix-based company discovered her theft, Johnson moved to Atlanta, Georgia and applied for a similar accountant position at another property management company. Johnson gave a fictitious reference and other false information during the hiring process to prevent her new employer from contacting the Phoenix employer and discovering her fraud. Upon being hired in early 2015, Johnson proceeded to steal almost $500,000 from her new, Atlanta-based employer. Johnson concealed her embezzlement from both companies by falsifying bank statements and other financial records.


     “Employee embezzlement is a growing problem that presents a significant threat to local businesses. The United States Attorney’s Office takes this kind of criminal conduct very seriously and will continue to aggressively prosecute financial frauds,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Elizabeth A. Strange.


     “All businesses, whether large or small, can be the victims of deceitful employees,” stated IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Ismael Nevarez Jr. “This investigation underscores IRS-CI’s expertise in conducting complex financial investigations."


     The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. The prosecution was handled by M. Bridget Minder and Andrew Stone, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.




RELEASE NUMBER: 2017-084_Johnson


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Updated September 12, 2017

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: CR-17-00183-JJT/ 2017-084_Johnson