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A former employee at the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce accused of stealing more than $200,000 from the organization over a three-year period has been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay back only a fraction of the money allegedly taken.
Jeanie Kay Johnson, 47, of Spanish Fork, was initially charged in 4th District Court with 15 felonies, including pattern of unlawful activity, theft, communication fraud and obstructing justice.
Johnson pleaded guilty in June to three counts: reduced third-degree felony counts of theft and communication fraud, and third-degree felony obstructing justice.
Earlier this week, Judge Gary Stott sentenced Johnson to complete 36-months probation and pay $15,000 in restitution.
Deputy Utah County Attorney Lance Bastian said Friday that the restitution amount was a negotiated settlement accepted by the chamber of commerce.
Bastian said that because Johnson destroyed much of the evidence against her, she ended up with many more accommodations than prosecutors wanted to give.
"Once she realized they were on to her," Bastian said, "she came in after hours and shredded documents, destroyed electronic documents, deleted emails and destroyed most of the evidence we needed to go to trial."
Charging documents allege that Johnson who was hired by the chamber of commerce in 2005 as a receptionist, office manager and finance manager stole more than $200,000 between February 2011 and December 2013.
She was able to hide the missing money by creating fake reimbursement statements, false vacation payouts and checks written without authorization, charges state.
When the chamber's officers discovered discrepancies, Johnson went into the computer system on Dec. 10, 2013 and deleted financial information in an effort to hide her actions, charges state.