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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 30, 2021

Marion County Woman Sentenced to Prison For Defrauding her Employer of $550,000

DES MOINES, IA – On August 30, 2021, United States District Court Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger sentenced Melissa Deann Authier, age 36, of rural Pleasantville, to 33 months in prison for Wire Fraud announced Acting United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal. Authier was ordered to serve three years of supervised release to follow her prison term and pay Jolly Farms, Inc. $550,000 in restitution.

According to court documents, Authier was hired by Jolly Farms in early 2016 to provide bookkeeping services in support of a farming operation and tiling business that operated from rural Pleasantville. From early 2016 and continuing through February 2019, Authier devised and participated in a scheme to defraud Jolly Farms of monies. In total, Authier directed $550,000 of Jolly Farms’ monies to her own benefit without authorization. Authier stole through various means, including by paying Authier’s and Authier’s husband’s credit cards with Jolly Farms’ monies without authorization. Authier also repeatedly used, without authorization, credit cards issued to Jolly Farms to charge purchases and services that were for the benefit of Authier and her family; Authier then paid for those bills with Jolly Farms’ monies. In addition, Authier issued unauthorized paychecks to herself.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Adam J. Kerndt.

Topic(s): 
Elder Justice
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Rachel J. Scherle 515-473-9300 USAIAS-PAO@usdoj.gov
Updated August 30, 2021