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A Denham Springs woman has been indicted for allegedly embezzling $750,000 from a mental healthcare facility she worked for, according to the Department of Justice.

A federal grand jury recently returned a three-count indictment charging Brittany Monroe Knapp, 34, with wire fraud and identity theft during her time at Oceans Behavioral, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oceans Healthcare.

Knapp, who worked at Oceans Behavioral from 2014-19, pleaded not guilty to the pending charges during her arraignment on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

According to the indictment, Knapp defrauded Oceans Healthcare between October 2017 and December 2019 by creating multiple PayPal online merchant accounts and using the corporate credit cards of two employees to send funds electronically to the PayPal online merchant accounts.

Once funds were credited to PayPal accounts, Knapp transferred these funds into her personal bank accounts, according to the Department of Justice.

The indictment also claims Knapp allegedly forged an employee’s signature on “capital expense request” approval forms, “falsely representing that she was authorized to incur the aforementioned fraudulent expenses, then created false and fraudulent invoices in the names of real businesses, falsely representing that said companies had provided the goods and services to Oceans Behavioral.”

Using these false and fraudulent invoices, Knapp submitted “expense reports” to Oceans Healthcare electronically “that falsely represented that real businesses had provided the purchased goods and services to Oceans Behavioral,” according to the Department of Justice. 

These expense reports caused Oceans Healthcare to pay for the fraudulent credit card charges.

Throughout the course of the scheme, Knapp, without authority, embezzled more than $750,000 of Oceans Healthcare funds “to which she was not entitled,” the Department of Justice said.

The case is still being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter J. Smyczek.

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