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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

WOMAN SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR STEALING MORE THAN $800,000 FROM HER EMPLOYER IN OTIS. N.M.

ALBUQUERQUE – Lori V. Whitaker, 56, formerly of Carlsbad, N.M., was sentenced in federal court yesterday to 18 months in prison for wire fraud.  She was also ordered to pay restitution for the loss to her employer in Otis, N.M., of approximately $816,000.      

Whitaker previously pleaded guilty to this offense on May 2, 2018.  In her plea agreement, she admitted to committing this crime while employed as office manager for the Otis Mutual Domestic Water Consumers and Sewage Works Association in Otis, N.M.  Whitaker misused a credit card intended to pay business expenses by making personal charges and taking cash advances at various casinos in New Mexico and elsewhere.  Whitaker would pay the bills for these fraudulent charges by transferring money from her employer’s checking account.  

The Las Cruces resident agency of the FBI investigated this case with the Internal Revenue Service and Eddy County Sheriff’s Office.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard C. Williams and former Assistant U.S. Attorney John Balla prosecuted the case.  

Press Release Number: 
19-78
Updated June 14, 2019