Embezzlement Case Ends in Plea Deal
West Lebanon — A Claremont woman who allegedly embezzled more than $600,000 from the North Country Smokehouse has reached a plea agreement and will serve nearly three years in federal prison, according to U.S. District Court records.
Bonnie Johnson, the Smokehouse’s former office manager, is scheduled to plead guilty to wire fraud during a hearing on Oct. 10 in Concord, and would receive a 33 month sentence and be forced to repay to owner Mike Satzow. She would be placed on three years probation after her release, according to the plea agreement.
Johnson worked for 21 years at the Smokehouse, which sells artisanal smoked meats and cheeses from a Claremont facility nationally.
Between July 2005 and April 2013, Johnson wrote checks to herself using Satzow’s signature stamp, used a company credit card for personal items and tampered with the company’s books to try to cover her tracks, according to federal court records.
Wire fraud carries a 20-year maximum sentence. Earlier this year, Satzow filed a lawsuit against Johnson in Sullivan County Superior Court, after discovering the missing money while Johnson was away on vacation.
Johnson went on “elaborate” vacations in recent years, and bought multiple luxury vehicles, including a Mercedes Benz SUV, Harley Davidson motorcycles and snowmobile, Satzow claimed in the lawsuit. She also purchased a diamond ring worth at least $30,000, according to the lawsuit.
Bank records show that Johnson allegedly stole more than $16,000 in 2005, and increased the amount every year, culminating in 2012, when she wrote checks to herself every other week for $4,000, for a total of $124,000, according to the lawsuit. She was fired in April.
Johnson did not respond to a message seeking comment Thursday.
Mark Davis can be reached at email@example.com.
Bonnie Johnson allegedly embezzled more than $600,000 from the North Coutnry Smokehouse in Claremont. An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of the business.