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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 25, 2016

Former Morgan City housing authority executive director, employees sentenced for theft of half a million dollars

LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that the former executive director of the Morgan City Housing Authority and three former employees were sentenced for a conspiracy related to theft of half a million dollars.

Charles E. Spann, 78, of Kingsport, Tenn., was sentenced to 36 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $111,657.47 restitution on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Tori D. Johnson, 38, of Morgan City, La., was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $100,040.23 restitution on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Diana L. Pace, 64, of Morgan City was sentenced to 18 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $137,660.72 restitution on one count of theft of government money. Sandra L. Greene, 59, of Morgan City, was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $165,405.46 restitution on one count of misprision of a felony. United States District Judge Donald E. Walter presided over the hearings.

According to the April 22, 2016 guilty pleas, the defendants received a total of $514,764.14 in bonus payments to which they were not entitled from 2007 to 2013. In 2007, a one-time bonus for work performed in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita was granted. After the one-time bonuses were sent to all employees of the housing authority, Johnson requested from Spann, who was executive director, that she, Spann and the other two employees, continue to receive bonuses. Johnson wrote false justifications for the bonuses and Spann signed off on them. The bonuses were not approved by the civil service board or the Morgan City Housing Authority Board of Directors. Span received $111,657.47, Johnson received $100,040.23, Greene received $165.405.46 and Pace received $137,660.72 to which they were not entitled.

The U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Investigations, conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly P. Uebinger and Robert F. Moore prosecuted the case.

Updated July 25, 2016