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Press Release

St. Landry woman pleads guilty to stealing more than $116,000 from an Opelousas business

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

LAFAYETTE – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a St. Landry woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing more than $116,000 from an Opelousas-based medical imaging business.

Misty Johnson, 40, of St. Landry, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna to one count each of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft of mail. The plea will become final when accepted by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi. According to the guilty plea, Johnson worked as an office manager for an Opelousas medical imaging services business from January 2009 to July 2014. She was responsible for day-to-day financial operations including billing, payroll and managing of accounts payable and receivable. Her responsibilities included access to the company’s financial information and mail. She also had signatory authority on business accounts and was provided a company credit card for making purchases. In order to further the scheme, she would write checks to herself or to cash, issue herself additional paychecks and make unauthorized purchases on the company credit card. She would then alter the company’s account records to look as though she was properly paying the company’s bills. Johnson also stole company mail including past-due bills and brought them to her home. Johnson’s theft totaled $116,106.50.

Johnson faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud count and five years for the theft of mail count. She also faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft count. Additionally, she faces five years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and restitution. A sentencing date was not set.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dominic Rossetti and John Luke Walker are prosecuting the case. 

Updated July 15, 2016