Former Office Manager from Jones Sentenced to 94 Months in Prison in Connection with More Than $1 Million Embezzlement and Tax Fraud
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—JULIE ANN SMITH (a/k/a “Julie A. Judkins” and “Julie A. Judkins Smith”), of Jones, Oklahoma, was sentenced today to serve 94 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $1,237,939.22 in restitution for embezzling from her former employer and for tax fraud, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
On October 30, 2014, a federal jury found Smith guilty of 36 counts of bank fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, forged securities, and tax fraud. According to evidence presented at trial, Smith worked from 2000 until late June 2012 at Power Equipment & Engineering, Inc. (“PE&E”), in Oklahoma City. At PE&E, Smith was the accounts-payable clerk and office 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 more than $1 million. The 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.
Today, United States District Judge Stephen P. Friot sentenced Smith to 94 months in federal prison, and ordered her to pay $1,237,939.22 in restitution. Judge Friot ordered Smith to pay $1,036,816.22 in restitution to PE&E for the embezzlement, and $201,123.00 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. The 94-month sentence includes 70 months’ imprisonment for the bank fraud, mail fraud, and forged security counts, followed by 24 additional months in prison for one count of aggravated identify theft. Judge Friot sentenced Smith to 36 months’ imprisonment for the tax fraud, to be served at the same time as the 70-month term of imprisonment. After her incarceration, Smith will be on supervised release for five years. At the end of today’s sentencing, Smith was taken into custody to begin service of her federal sentence.
This sentence is 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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chris M. Stephens and Jessica L. Perry.