COVINGTON, LA (WVUE) - An office manager who embezzled about $135,000 from a Covington medical clinic was ordered to repay the stolen money or face up to 10 years in prison. On Monday, a judge gave the defendant, Shantel Judah, of Slidell, five years to pay $123,000 and the remaining $12,000 will be seized from her retirement fund.
The judge also gave Judah suspended jail sentences that ranged from six months to 10 years in prison on each of the nine charges, as well as a total of five years of active probation. In May 2015, Judah pleaded guilty to stealing from Dr. Albert Tydings, altering bookkeeping records, and misusing his business credit cards in an embezzlement scheme that lasted from 2011 to 2013.
The St. Tammany Parish District Attorney says Judah had worked for Tydings for 10 years in January 2014, when he first noticed discrepancies in bookkeeping, business credit card amounts, and bank accounts that Judah had managed exclusively. Tydings reported to police that he discovered the discrepancies while preparing documents for his personal tax returns.
Tydings told investigators he confronted Judah, who initially denied wrongdoing but quit the next day. The District Attorney says an investigation discovered thousands of dollars of unauthorized credit card charges and checks that had been written to the clinic and cashed by Judah. Investigators say she never deposited the money into the clinic's account, and that she used Tydings' bank account to pay some of her personal credit card bills.
Judah was arrested in February 2014 and charged with two counts of unauthorized use of an access device card, theft over $1,500, theft of business records, three counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance by fraud, possession of testosterone and insurance fraud.