Individuals who commit fraud can be very bold and brazen, not to mention sneaky and not very bright when it comes to carrying out a criminal scheme. Somehow, they can reason that their need to steal money is justified and they proceed with the utmost confidence to swindle as much as possible, no matter the cost to themselves or their victims. A Meraux, Louisiana woman fits that category because she used her position as payroll supervisor of the Louisiana Supreme Court to commit identity theft using the personal information of four retired judges. (Does the woman have no shame for committing such a brazen and daring crime within the judicial system which happens to be her employer?)
The New Orleans-area woman used her position within the high court to create fake stipend receipts in the names of four retired judges, who sometimes performed temporary bench assignments. She made it appear as if the judges worked ad hoc assignments, then directed their fake earnings to bank accounts that she controlled. (I‘m guessing she approved her own fraudulent documentation, but didn’t count on auditors finding her trail of brazen deception.)
The woman, who worked for the Louisiana Supreme Court’s judicial administrator for more than two years, conducted 28 fraudulent payment transactions over a period of 10 months. (She illegally received more than $116,000.) After a Louisiana Legislative Auditor discovered the fraudulent payments, she was booked on 29 counts each of malfeasance in office, identity theft, computer fraud, public salary deduction and public payroll fraud. (Did she really think the auditors would not find out?)
The 38-year-old Meraux, Louisiana woman entered a guilty plea to four counts of identity theft. (What comes next is short of a miracle for this woman who does not seem to deserve the relaxed sentence she received.) She received a four-year suspended prison sentence and four years of inactive probation, which means she does not have to report to a probation officer during her probationary period. (Hard to believe, isn’t it?) Although the fraudster avoided 10 years of jail time for each count, she does have to pay full restitution.
Most likely, this was the first offense for this former employee of the Louisiana Supreme Court and she got off easy. Get this – her guilty plea allows her to expunge the felony conviction from her record if she successfully completes probation and pays back the remaining $46,280. (Here’s hoping she won’t throw away her second chance at a clean record after committing this very brazen crime.)
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Meraux woman pleads guilty to stealing $116K from Louisiana Supreme Court,” posted on NOLA.com on February 5, 2018.
A Meraux woman avoided jail time but must pay restitution after pleading guilty Monday (Feb. 5) to stealing $116,000 from the Louisiana Supreme Court while working there as a payroll supervisor, Orleans Parish court records show.
Misty Corb, 38, who pleaded guilty to four counts of identity theft, faced up to 10 years in prison on each count, according to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office.