Former Morgan City Bookkeeper Sentenced to Federal Prison and Ordered to Pay Over $3 Million in Restitution
Published 10:22 am Wednesday, January 12, 2022
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that Karen Duhon, 67, of Berwick, Louisiana, has been sentenced by Chief United States District Judge S. Maurice Hicks, Jr. to 60 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, on mail fraud charges. Duhon was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,391,598.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Duhon in December 2018 and she pleaded guilty on August 12, 2021 to one count of mail fraud. Duhon worked as the bookkeeper at Capital Management Consultants, Inc. (CMCI), a family-owned company located in Morgan City, Louisiana from October 1973 until August 2014. Beginning in approximately January 1999, Duhon took money from CMCI unlawfully. With the assistance of the treasurer of CMCI at the time, Duhon began writing checks to herself in amounts over her allowed salary, which the treasurer would then 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 these payments. The amount of loss suffered by CMCI was $3,263,677.06.
In addition, Duhon, along with the treasurer, also assisted certain members of the company 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 and encouragement of the treasurer, and without authorization of the victim family member, used this brokerage account to pay $127,920.94 in expenses on her personal American Express cards. Further, 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.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney T. Forrest Phillips.