BEAUMONT, Texas - A former warehouse maintenance supervisor in the Beaumont school district, his wife and a friend of his, have each pled guilty to one count of a four count federal indictment accusing them of defrauding the district out of more than $280,000. They face up to five years in federal prison, a fine and restitution when a judge sentences them.
KFDM's Haley Bull is covering the federal plea hearings. Watch KFDM News and stay with kfdm.com for updates.
Daryl Glenn Johnson, 44, pled guilty to conspiracy upon programs receiving federal funds. He entered the plea Thursday afternoon in the courtroom of Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin. Johnson didn't say anything other than yes, no and guilty during the hearing.
He faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine, as well as up to three years supervised release. He may also have to pay the full amount of restitution of $284,039.42 with his co-defendants
His wife, Erin Gipson Johnson, 38, also pled guilty to one count of the federal indictment, as did Kailyn DeShondra Pete, 25, described as a friend of Daryl Johnson. Each of the co-defendants pled guilty to fraud upon programs receiving federal funds.
The plea agreements for Erin Johnson and Pete call for five years probation. Each could receive fines of up to $250,000. Erin Johnson faces restitution of up to nearly $194,000 while Pete faces restitution of up to $90,041.05.
Federal Judge Ron Clark will have to accept the plea agreements and will conduct sentencing hearings. The judge has the option of rejecting the plea agreements based on details of pre-sentencing reports that'll be done.
A federal grand jury indicted Johnson, his wife, Erin Gipson Johnson, 38, and Kailyn DeShondra Pete, 25, a friend, all of Beaumont, on four counts.
According to the indictment, from July 2009 through June, 2012, Daryl Johnson, who was employed as the warehouse supervisor for the school district, is alleged to have had first his wife, Erin Johnson, and then a friend, Kailyn Pete, placed on the BISD payroll as temporary employees. However, neither Erin Johnson nor Kailyn Pete ever actually worked as a BISD warehouse employee. Daryl Johnson had the autonomy to hire temporary warehouse employees on his own, and the authority to determine how many hours they would be paid, and could do so unilaterally and without the authorization or direct knowledge of anyone else. Daryl Johnson is alleged to have used this authority to fraudulently verify that both Erin Johnson and Kailyn Pete worked the hours indicated on their respective timesheets, which included extensive amounts of overtime when he knew that they in fact had not worked any of the hours. Pete is alleged to have paid Daryl Johnson $500.00 from each of the BISD payroll checks she received. From July 2009 through May 2011, Erin Johnson was paid $193,998.37. During the timeframe of June 2010 through May 2012, Kailyn Pete was paid $90,041.05.
If they'd been convicted of all counts, the defendants could each have faced up to 10 years in federal prison.
This case is being investigated by the joint task force with the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, the Beaumont Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joe Batte and Christopher T. Tortorice.