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Press Release

Former Office Manager From Jones Found Guilty On 36 Counts In Connection With Over $1 Million Embezzlement And Tax Fraud

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

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – A federal court jury deliberated only about two hours today before finding JULIE ANN SMITH (a/k/a "Julie A. Judkins" and "Julia A. Judkins Smith"), of Jones, Oklahoma, guilty on 36 counts of bank fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, forged securities, and tax fraud, in connection with embezzling over one million dollars from her former employer, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to evidence presented at trial, 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. While employed at PE&E from June of 2002 through June of 2012, Smith forged approximately 195 PE&E checks by using the company owner’s signature stamp without PE&E’s permission or knowledge. The forged checks totaled approximately $1,026,399.08. In addition, evidence showed that Smith disguised the forged checks through false entries on PE&E’s accounting system, 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. Finally, the evidence showed that Smith filed materially false federal income tax returns for years 2008 through 2012.

The trial lasted two days and the jury deliberated approximately two hours before finding Smith guilty on all 36 counts. At sentencing, 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. A sentencing date will be set by the court in approximately 90 days.

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