Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Slidell woman pleads guilty to stealing $2 million from firm

Slidell woman pleads guilty to stealing $2 million from firm
Posted: Mar 1, 2019
Categories: Front Page, Crime
Comments: 0
From District Attorney Warren Montgomery

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Latanya N. Arnold, 49, of Slidell, was sentenced Friday (March 1) to serve three years in prison for theft over $25,000 for stealing more than $2 million over several years from the New Orleans law firm where she worked as the comptroller. Arnold, who has no prior arrest history, pleaded guilty as charged last week and has paid back $200,000 in restitution.

District Judge Scott Gardner sentenced Arnold to 10 years for the crime, but he suspended seven of those years. He also ordered her to pay the remaining restitution once she is released from prison.
Between 2008 and 2017, Arnold wrote checks to herself and family members and made personal purchases, including airline tickets, clothing, international and domestic vacation packages, beauty and salon services, tuitions, Saints tickets, and lease payments for a Mercedes Benz. The scheme came to light in May 2017, when another employee at the law firm discovered an unauthorized $25,000 withdrawal from one of the law firm’s accounts and learned the funds were used to pay the bail for one of Arnold’s family members. The law firm’s owner then ordered an audit of all of the firm’s bank accounts.
The victim testified Friday that the theft not only devastated the financial stability of his business but that it shattered his trust in the humanity of people.

Arnold, now confined to a wheelchair because of a severe health condition, apologized in court Friday to the victim for stealing his money and for violating his trust. Her husband, Raymond E. Arnold, 50, also of Slidell, faces charges of theft over $25,000 and money laundering and is scheduled for pre-trial hearings March 11.

Assistant District Attorney Butch Wilson prosecuted the case.