Louisiana woman sentenced for defrauding employer

November 18, 2021 GMT

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A longtime employee for a Louisiana company has been sentenced to two years in prison on wire fraud charges, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Michael J. Juneau also ordered Tracie Sonnier, 51, of Breaux Bridge, to pay restitution in the amount of $335,015.

Sonnier pleaded guilty July 19 to a bill of information charging her with one count of wire fraud. The charge stemmed from an investigation that began when her employer, Aries Marine Corporation, discovered money missing from their business account, Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook said in a news release.

Sonnier worked as an administrative assistant and had bookkeeping duties from 1996 until she was fired in May 2020 for the company headquartered in Lafayette. Agents with U.S. Secret Service and the Lafayette Police Department said Sonnier created a scheme to defraud Aries using its bank accounts, without authorization, to pay for personal expenses.

Aries is a privately-held company that owns and operates self-elevating workboats and supply vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.