Home » Former Health Club Worker Pleads Guilty in $1.7 million Fraud Scheme

Former Health Club Worker Pleads Guilty in $1.7 million Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 27, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announces that Emily L. Davis, 43, of Ponchatoula, pleaded guilty Wednesday (Sept. 26) to theft and identity theft in a scheme that bilked her former employer, Franco’s Athletic Club, of more than $1.7 million.

Davis, the club’s former finance director, was one of two people charged with conspiring between March 1, 2008, and July 31, 2016, to steal cash and electronic funds systematically from the health club.

As part of the plea agreement, ordered by District Judge Richard Swartz, Davis pleaded guilty to three counts of theft over $25,000, one count of theft between $5,000 and $25,000, and two counts of identity theft.  She paid $100,000 in restitution and will have to make monthly payments totaling $25,000 over the next three years. Judge Swartz sentenced Davis to a total of 10 years but suspended all but one year of the sentence. Davis will serve that year under house arrest, which will enable her to leave home only for work so that she can make the remaining restitution payments. If she fails to meet the terms of the agreement, she could face jail time.

In the Wednesday hearing, Davis apologized for her role in the scheme. Franco’s owners agreed to the terms of the plea.

Co-defendant Jennifer E. Thompson, 47, of Mandeville, the club’s former human resources director, awaits trial.

The two women were indicted in February last year and accused of taking more than $1.4 million in cash for their personal use, erasing more than $165,000 in personal, in-house credit account charges through the use of fictitious bank accounts, erasing more than $19,000 in personal loans from their employer’s 401K retirement fund, and laundering the proceeds by making cash deposits, totaling $300,000 in various personal bank accounts. Davis also was accused of using the name of the club’s owners to obtain $1,000 without authorization on two different occasions.