Former Morgan City Housing Authority Director, Employees Arraigned on Theft, Conspiracy Charges

LAFAYETTE, La. – (RealEstateRama) — United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that the former director of the Morgan City Housing Authority and two former employees were arraigned today on charges related to theft of half a million dollars.

Charles E. Spann, 78, of Kingsport, Tenn.; and Diana L. Pace, 64, and Sandra L. Green, 59, both of Morgan City, La.; pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carol B. Whitehurst. The fourth defendant, Tori D. Johnson, 38, of Morgan City, is scheduled to be arraigned on March 31, 2016. The grand jury returned the 15-count indictment on February 18, 2016. Count One is conspiracy to defraud the United States, and counts two through 15 are theft of government money.

According to the indictment, Spann and three other Morgan City Housing Authority employees are alleged to have received more than $500,000 in bonus payments to which they were not entitled from 2007 to 2013.

If convicted, the defendants face five years in prison for the conspiracy count and 10 years in prison for each count of theft of government money. They also face three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Investigations, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly P. Uebinger and Robert F. Moore are prosecuting the case.

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