PROVO — Fifteen felony criminal charges have been filed against a former Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce employee accused of embezzling more than $200,000.
Jeanie Kay Johnson, 45, of Spanish Fork, was charged Friday with participating in a pattern of unlawful activity, theft, and 12 counts of communications fraud, all second-degree felonies. She was also charged with obstructing justice, a third-degree felony.
Prosecutors said Johnson was hired in 2005 as an office manager, receptionist and finance manager. She illegally obtained more than $200,000 and "was able to hide the missing money for years by providing false financial information in the monthly financial reports for the Board of Directors" and by hiding bank and other records, charging documents state.
Johnson is accused of taking the money between February 2011 and December 2013.
When discrepancies were discovered, Johnson went into the computer system and "deleted the financial information in an effort to hide her actions," according to the charges.
Prosecutors claim she obtained the money through fraudulent reimbursements, unauthorized checks and false vacation payouts.
Johnson was fired more than one year ago after an internal investigation allegedly unearthed discrepancies in the chamber's financial records, the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce said in a prepared statement that did not identify Johnson. Chamber officials said they have since instituted new controls to prevent a similar incident.
— Allison Oligschlaeger