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Press Release

Former Office Manager From Jones Charged With Embezzling Nearly $1 Million From Employer And Tax Fraud

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

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – JULIE ANN SMITH (a/k/a "Julie A. Judkins" and "Julia A. Judkins Smith"), of Jones, Oklahoma, has been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with bank fraud, mail fraud, forged securities, and tax fraud, in connection with embezzling nearly one million dollars from a metro company, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

On September 2, 2014, the federal grand jury returned a 36-count superseding indictment against Smith. The superseding indictment alleges that Smith worked from 2000 until around late June 2012 at Power Equipment & Engineering, Inc. ("PE&E"), in Oklahoma City. At PE&E, Smith was the accounts-payable clerk and officer manager, where she prepared checks and paid invoices for the company. It is alleged that Smith forged approximately 192 PE&E checks, from June of 2002 through June of 2012, by using the company owner’s signature stamp without PE&E’s permission or knowledge. The 192 checks totaled approximately $985,540.14. It is further alleged that Smith disguised the forged checks through false entries on PE&E’s ledger, wrote many of the forged checks to a fake company under her control, and directed other forged checks to credit card companies, financial institutions, and vendors for her personal benefit.

In the superseding indictment, counts 1-16 charge Smith with bank fraud and allege that she fraudulently obtained PE&E’s money, under the control of a local bank, by causing the forged checks to be presented for payment against PE&E’s account at the bank. Counts 17-24 charge Smith with mail fraud. According to these counts, Smith used interstate mail to send forged checks to institutions to pay personal credit card expenses from around January 2007 through June 2012. Count 25 of the superseding indictment charges Smith with aggravated identity theft for fraudulently using the company owner’s signature on a forged check during and in relation to a specific mail fraud count. In the superseding indictment, counts 26-31 allege that Smith made and possessed forged securities of an interstate business—specifically, the forged PE&E checks—with the intent to deceive various payees. The final five counts (32-36) allege that Smith filed materially false federal income tax returns for years 2008 through 2012.

If convicted, Smith faces a prison sentence of up to 30 years for each bank fraud count, up to 20 years for each mail fraud count, up to 10 years for each forged securities count, up to three years for each false tax return count, and a mandatory two-year prison term under the aggravated identify theft count. Smith could also receive an additional $250,000 fine on each count if convicted. The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Trial is scheduled to start on October 6, 2014, in Oklahoma City.

These charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations, United States Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Oklahoma City Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chris M. Stephens and Jessica L. Perry.

Reference is made to court filings for further information.

Updated December 15, 2014