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Press Release

Bookkeeper Sentenced To 30 Months after Pleading Guilty To Failing To Declare More Than $700,000 In Stolen Money On Tax Return And Stealing Over Five Million Dollars From New Orleans Law Firm And Real Estate Company

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

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced today that PEGGY NAGELE, age 65 of Thibodeaux, Louisiana was sentenced Thursday, June 13, 2019 to serve 30 months in federal prison.  She previously pled guilty to a one-count bill of information, charging her with violating Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206, making false statements on an income tax return in January 2019.

In papers signed by NAGELE and filed in open court, NAGELE admitted to failing to declare more than $727,847.80 in funds she had stolen on her 2011 Federal tax form 1040, as charged in the Bill of Information. NAGELE was employed as a bookkeeper with Law Firm A, a New Orleans law firm.  NAGELE further admitted to theft of $5,083,601 from Firm “A” and Business “A”, a real estate management company. 

NAGELE further admitted to having unfettered access to both entities checkbooks and financial assets.  She wrote checks to herself from operating accounts at Firm “A”.  She disguised her thefts by making the checks payable to routine vendors, or simply did not record the checks in the check register.  The checks were then deposited into either Mortgage Lending Group, a business NAGELE and her family controlled or Nagele Corporation, another business controlled by the defendant.

“The role of IRS Criminal Investigation becomes even more important in embezzlement and fraud cases due to the complex financial transactions that can take time to unravel,” said Demetrius Hardeman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Atlanta Field Office – New Orleans Post. “The federal tax laws are normally violated in these cases which can add to additional jail time. As we often see, the victims are not only the taxpayers, but also the individuals and entities who suffer the financial harm.”

NAGELE was also ordered to pay $5,083,601 in restitution to her victims.  She is to report to prison in August, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division for their thorough investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carter K.D. Guice Jr.


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Updated June 21, 2019