Mandeville CPA pleads guilty to fraud, ID theft, case dates back to 1996

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NEW ORLEANS — A certified public accountant from Mandeville has pleaded guilty to bank fraud, identity theft and wire fraud in a case prosecutors say netted him roughly $2.8 million over 19 years.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite (poh-LEET') said Michael Sapera entered the guilty plea Thursday.

Prosecutors said that beginning in July 1996, Sapera stole close to $2.2 million from the New Orleans-based company he worked for. He forged the signature of his employer on approximately 430 stolen corporate checks, then endorsed them to himself.

Beginning in 2011, through a series of transactions, Sapera transferred more than $580,000 in corporate funds from the company's bank account to his personal account.

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon set sentencing for May 28.

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