Berwick Woman Gets 5 Years in Jail & Will Have to Pay Millions
A Berwick woman is going to federal prison for five years, she"ll be on probation for three years when she gets out, and she has to pay $3,391,598 in restitution according to officials with the Department of Justice.
United States Attorney Brandon Brown says that 67-year-old Karen Duhon pleaded guilty in August of 2021 to stealing all that money from a company and from a brokerage account from a family member of that company. Duhon began the job of bookkeeper at Capital Management Consultants in Morgan City in 1973 through August of 2014.
In the government's case, they alleged that Duhon took all of this money over the course of years for her own personal use. She would write checks to herself, with the help of the company's treasurer, according to Brown.
To cover her tracks, Brown says Duhon would make fake entries into the bookkeeping records. She was "cooking the books" to hide her stealing. She was depositing checks of varying amounts into her and her husband's personal accounts. Brown adds that Duhon had the aid and encouragement of the treasurer of the company.
Brown says the thievery became even more diabolical as the years progressed. He says Duhon, in addition to being the bookkeeper at CMCI, would also help with the personal financial records of family members who owned the company.
In that role, she had access to a brokerage account of one family member. Brown says between November 2012 and January of 2014, Duhon used the family member's money to pay her American Express cards debts. Federal Bureau of Investigation officials say this was to the tune of $127,920.94.
Investigators also found she had mailed a check, stealing from this company member's account, to pay American Express $8,370.03. She pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges. When all was said and done, Duhon agreed that she will pay $3,391,598 in restitution.
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