Former Attorney Gets 96 Months in Prison For Bank Fraud – Arkansas Business Online

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A former Little Rock attorney convicted of defrauding her employer and the government for nearly a decade has been sentenced to 96 months in federal prison, authorities announced Tuesday.
Kelli Hogue of Sherwood, formerly known as Kelli Cashion, 59, was also sentenced to five years of supervised release after her prison sentence ends, along with a fine of $100,000. She pleaded guilty in August to bank fraud and theft of government funds.
From 2011 to 2018, Hogue worked as a bookkeeper for Runyan Sanitary Sewer District 211, a nonprofit entity that owned and operated a sewer plant for the North Little Rock Water Department. Authorities say that during that time, Hogue wrote about 180 unauthorized checks payable to herself from Runyan and falsely reported them as business expenses. The checks totaled more than $669,000.
Hogue also worked as a paralegal and clerk at the Herrod Law Firm in North Little Rock from 2009 to 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. She falsely told the Social Security Administration she had stopped working for the firm in 2008 or 2009 to receive disability payments, which totaled about $120,523.
Hogue was a licensed attorney from 1996 until 2001, when she was prohibited from practicing law after a state forgery conviction. Several companies including the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sued Hogue in 2000 over bounced checks and unpaid debts from an entertainment business she ran at the time.
Another investigation focusing on Hogue is ongoing. At a sentencing hearing Tuesday, authorities learned that Hogue had already repaid the Social Security Administration and Runyan, but she had done so after allegedly filing false federal tax returns and receiving more than $4 million.
It wasn’t the first time she’d tried to deceive the court, according to the release. Hogue in January submitted four letters to U.S. District Judge Lee Rudofsky in support of her request for a reduced sentence. But investigators discovered they were phony after contacting the purported authors, none of whom said they’d written a letter. Rudofsky revoked Hogue’s pre-sentencing release and ordered her to remain in custody pending sentencing.
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