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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Louisiana

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Office Manager Sentenced To Over 5 Years In Prison For Embezzling $600,000 From Healthcare Company

BATON ROUGE, LA - United States Attorney Walt Green announced that Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson has sentenced DONNA M. DODSON, age 53, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to sixty-three (63) months in federal prison as a result of her fraudulent scheme to defraud one of her former employers.  DODSON was also sentenced to make restitution in the amount of $589,680.66 to her victims, to pay special assessments totaling $500, and to serve a three-year term of supervised release following her release from prison.  DODSON will also be ordered to forfeit an additional $589,680.66, which represents the proceeds of her fraudulent scheme.

On September 16, 2014, DODSON pled guilty to five (5) counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343.  DODSON had been hired by a local surgical center in 2009 and worked as the company’s office manager until mid-2013.  Over that time period, DODSON engaged in a scheme to defraud her employer, by (a) creating false and fraudulent entries in the company’s accounting records and software that appeared to indicate that the company owed money to various third parties; (b) preparing check requests for the false entries she had created; and then (c) fraudulently altering each check request, before the check was actually printed, so that her own name would appear on the face of each check as the “payee.”  As DODSON obtained the checks, she would deposit the funds into one of her personal accounts.  In total, throughout the scheme, DODSON created and generated more than one hundred (100) checks and fraudulently obtained approximately $600,000.

United States Attorney Green stated: “This case illustrates how much damage a corrupt insider can do to a business.  While fraud detection is often focused on external threats, the usual perpetrators of corporate fraud are insiders who abuse their positions of trust to steal from their employers and avoid detection.  Such fraud undermines the financial integrity of honest businesses and risks jobs held by honest employees. My office will continue to pursue these important prosecutions and hold corrupt insiders accountable.  I appreciate the great work performed in this case by the U.S. Secret Service and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Financial Crimes Division.”

This investigation was conducted by the United States Secret Service and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, with valuable assistance from the Louisiana State Police.  The matter was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alan A. Stevens, who serves as a Deputy Chief in the Criminal Division.

Updated February 3, 2015