Blueberry businesswoman busted for bad banking

The following is a Press Release from the United States Department of Justice:

BEAUMONT, Texas – A 47-year-old Lake Charles, LA woman has been sentenced for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Nikkie LaFleur pleaded guilty on Sep. 7, 2011, to making a forged security and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison on Jan. 6, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark.  LaFleur was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $130,000.00.

According to information presented in court, in 2007, LaFleur was hired as the business administrator for the Texas Blueberry Marketing Association (TBMA).  In August 2008, LaFleur altered TBMA corporate documents to deceive Wachovia Bank into opening a TBMA bank account with account access limited to LaFleur.  LaFleur used that bank account to deposit checks made payable to TBMA for her own personal use, including a month-long trip to Europe for her daughter.  LaFleur was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 7, 2010.

LaFleur's sentence will run consecutive to a 20 month prison sentence she received for defrauding the government in the Western District of Louisiana.  In that case, LaFleur was convicted on May 27, 2010 of health care fraud.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randall L. Fluke and James Peacock.