Wisconsin Woman Sentenced to 41 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing More Than $2 Million from Illinois Companies
ROCKFORD — A Gratiot, Wisc., woman was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala for stealing more than $2 million from her former employer and related companies.
TERESA L. JOHNSON, 53, was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and was also ordered to pay $2,204,508 in restitution. Johnson pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge on Dec. 13, 2017.
According to the written plea agreement, Johnson was a credit and collections specialist for a company located in Winslow, Ill. Johnson also did credit and collections work for two other companies, all of which had the same ownership. As a part of her duties, Johnson would send payment instructions to customers that owed money to the companies. From Jan. 18, 2012, through Aug. 15, 2016, Johnson created payment instructions for customers making payment by electronic bank transfer that contained her personal bank account number and provided those instructions to customers of the companies.
As stated in the plea agreement, the customers electronically submitted payments to the bank account number provided by Johnson, rather than to the companies. Johnson received the customers’ payments, totaling more than $2 million, in her personal bank account. Johnson also admitted that she used various methods to conceal her scheme, including using prepayments on balances due from customers and applying those prepayments to the past due balances of the customers whose money she took.
The sentencing was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Jeffrey Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott R. Paccagnini.