Mandeville Woman Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion and Wire Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 12, 2012|
NEW ORLEANS—Melody Huie, age 55, of Mandeville, Louisiana, was charged in a two-count bill of information with wire fraud and tax evasion, announced United States Attorney Dana J. Boente.
According to court documents, Huie was employed by a transportation company in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she served as a general manager for Accounting. In her capacity as general manager for Accounting, Huie was responsible for overseeing the company’s finances and accounts. Huie was one of three individuals at the company who was authorized to conduct wire transfers from the company’s bank accounts. Wire transfers from the company had to be authorized by two of the three employees with such authorization. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. (Chase) typically called an employee at the company to verify any wire transfers that Huie attempted to initiate. When a wire transfer needed to be sent, Huie would initiate it by making a phone call to Chase’s customer service department. When initiating a wire transfer by phone, Huie had to identify herself, specify the account from which she wished to draw the money, and provide a password created by Chase.
To accomplish her scheme and steal money from her employer, Huie would fraudulently identify herself as the second individual authorized to conduct wire transfers. Huie knew where this individual stored his/her password and security information, which Huie provided to the Chase representative to verify the unauthorized wire transfer. To disguise her actions, Huie added fictitious reference notes such as “Fund Redemption,” “401K Distribution,” or “Consulting Fee” in records. Huie stole money in this manner at least 114 times between November 2006 and September 2011, totaling $1,370,814.09.
Huie then failed to report as taxable income the money she stole on her tax returns. As a result, she failed to pay income tax between tax years 2006 and 2011 in the amount of at least $446,983.00.
Huie faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 25 years’ imprisonment, as well as the obligation to pay restitution in the amount, plus the amount she failed to pay the IRS. Sentencing has been scheduled for March 20, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.