LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The former bookkeeper for Capital Management Consultants, Inc. (CMCI) was sentenced to 60 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay over $3 million in restitution for mail fraud charges, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Karen Duhon, 67, of Berwick, was indicted by a grand jury in December 2018, and she pleaded guilty on August 12, 2021, to one count of mail fraud.
Duhon was the bookkeeper at CMCI, a family-owned company in Morgan City, from October 1973 until August 2014. She stole money from the company for over 20 years, according to the Attorney’s Office.
Beginning in approximately January 1999, Duhon took money from CMCI unlawfully. With the assistance of the company’s treasurer at the time, Duhon began writing checks to herself over her allowed salary, which the treasurer would sign.
Duhon deposited the checks in various accounts owned by her and her husband. She would then make false accounting entries in CMCI’s records to disguise the payments. The amount of loss suffered by CMCI was $3,263,677.06.
Duhon and the treasurer also assisted some members of the owner’s family with their personal finances, including paying bills and balancing accounts. This gave Duhon access to checks connected to a specific brokerage account owned by one of the family members.
From November 2012 through January 2014, Duhon, with the aid of the treasurer and without authorization from the family member, used the brokerage account to pay $127,920.94 in expenses on her personal American Express card.
In December 2013, Duhon, acting with intent to defraud, mailed, or caused to be mailed to American Express a check in the amount of $8,370.03 drawn on the victim family member’s account.