GRETNA — A 38-year-old former payroll and accounts payable supervisor gave up her appeal rights when she entered a guilty plea this month following allegations she used an elaborate scheme to steal about $116,000 from the Louisiana Supreme Court, her attorney said during a recent interview.
"Her punishment cannot be appealed or modified because she pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea bargain," Davidson S. Ehle III, a personal injury and family law attorney at Marino and Ehle in Gretna, said during a Louisiana Record email interview. "She was placed on inactive probation with the condition that she must reimburse all misappropriated funds."
Misty Corb in Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office mugshot
Misty Corb, also known as Misty Wood, of Meraux already has repaid $70,000 of the money she admitted stealing and has been ordered to a little more than $46,000 remaining, according to information released by Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office. If Corb fails to repay the amount, she could face a prison sentence, Ehle said.
"In the event she does not reimburse the court, her probation may be revoked and the judge could impose a prison sentence," he said.
Corb entered her guilty plea, as a first offender, Feb. 5 before District Judge Arthur Hunter in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court to four counts of identity theft. Each count could have carried a sentence of up to ten years in prison, according to information from Cannizzaro's office. Hunter handed down a suspended sentence of four years in prison and as many years of inactive probation, according to widely reported news stories, including that of The Associated Press.
Corb was a Louisiana Supreme Court judicial administrator payroll employee from December 2015 to March 2017, during which time she created false stipend payment requests for four retired and inactive judges, according to Cannizzaro's office. The scheme involved false direct-deposit requests on behalf of those judges, which Corb then allegedly altered disbursement data to direct payments into her own accounts, including to banks in Opelousas and Natchitoches, as well as Greenwood, Mississippi, according to Cannizzaro's office.
The scheme fell apart during a payroll audit, according to Cannizzaro's office. By the time the scheme was uncovered, Corb was no longer employed by the high court and had not been for four months when she was arrested by Louisiana State Police on identity theft, computer fraud, malfeasance in office, public salary deduction and public payroll fraud charges.
The scheme was especially odious given the state's strapped judicial resources, Cannizzaro said in a news release issued shortly after Corb's guilty pleas.
"To see our state's judiciary stripped of its limited resources - and to have one of its own steal essential funds - certainly makes this a brazen and disappointing offense," the news release said. "The judge decided to give this defendant probation, which was a legal sentence available to him. We are only hopeful that this court will be able to recoup the remainder of the restitution owed to the state Supreme Court."
It's a type of theft not likely to happen again, Ehle said. "I am not sure the court could have prevented it, but I am sure the Supreme Court will not allow it to happen again," he said.