Spearfish Woman Charged with Theft of Government Funds
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota:
Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that a Spearfish, South Dakota, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Theft of Government Funds.
Christi Marie Johnson, age 36, was indicted on November 9, 2021. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on November 10, 2021, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that between on or about June 15, 2017, and May 7, 2018, Johnson willfully and knowingly embezzled, stole, purloined, and converted to her own use money from departments and agencies of the United States, namely Title II program benefits payments made to her deceased stepfather, to which Johnson knew she was not entitled. Title II is administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration.
The charge is merely an accusation and Johnson is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman is prosecuting the case.
Johnson was released on bond pending trial which has been set for January 18, 2022.