Prosecutors: Pawtucket woman stolen $580K from Cranston auto shop A Pawtucket woman who allegedly defrauded her employer, a Cranston auto body repair shop, of roughly $580,000 is facing federal charges. Prosecutors say Idalee Johnston, 47, worked as a
A Pawtucket woman who allegedly defrauded her employer, a Cranston auto body repair shop, of roughly $580,000 is facing federal charges.
Prosecutors say Idalee Johnston, 47, worked as a secretary at Ideal Auto Body on Park Avenue for roughly two years starting in 2016 when she “devised a scheme whereas she absconded with the proceeds from approximately 190 checks provided to customers by insurance companies as payment for repairs to their vehicles.”
Johnston was arraigned in U.S. District Court last week on charges of mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Richard Myrus. She was released on personal recognizance.
Prosecutors say that through the scheme, Johnston “either did not have some customers sign direct payment forms for insurance payments to be made directly to the auto body shop, or did not forward signed payment forms to insurance companies. As a result of her actions, insurance payment checks were sent directly to customers who, in turn, provided the checks to Johnston as a representative of Ideal Auto Body as payment for repairs made to their vehicles.”
The statement from Myrus’s office continues: “It is alleged in the indictment that Johnston devised a scheme to steal and deposit some of the checks, some on which she forged signatures, into her bank account. In other instances, stolen checks were provided to family members to be deposited into their bank accounts. Johnston instructed family members to deposit the stolen checks, withdraw the funds, and provide the money to her. In return, Johnston provided the family members with a small portion of the proceeds.”
An Adult Correctional Institutions inmate has been charged with running an amphetamine trafficking operation from behind bars, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, while the inmate’s girlfriend and another man have been charged for their alleged roles in the conspiracy.
Prosecutors allege that Ronald M. Kramer, 36, of Providence, instructed his girlfriend, 36-year-old Rebecca L. Beauchamp of North Providence, “not only on how to continue his drug trafficking business, but also about how to locate and sell a firearm he owned” after his February arrest in Providence on charges of driving under the influence, obstruction of an officer and resisting arrest.
“According to court documents, at Kramer’s direction, numerous sales of varying quantities of amphetamines were allegedly conducted, including several sales made to undercover ATF agents,” a statement from prosecutors reads.
The investigation is said to have included the March execution of a search warrant at the home of 41-year-old Cranston resident Davith Hoy, identified as “the alleged supplier of amphetamines to Kramer and Beauchamp.” During the search, federal agents are said to have seized roughly 3,900 Adderall pills and “110.6 grams of pills that tested positive for the presence of fentanyl,” along with items used in the packaging and sale of the pills.
Last week, authorities executed a search warrant at Beauchamp’s home and seized “a small amount of amphetamine pills and approximately $11,000 in currency,” prosecutors say.
Kramer was arrested April 1 as he left the ACI, according to prosecutors. He is charged with conspiracy to possess amphetamines with intent to distribute and possession of amphetamine with intent to distribute. Prosecutors say he has been “previously convicted and sentenced on state robbery, breaking and entering/domestic, and felony assault charges.”
Beauchamp faces charges of conspiracy to possess amphetamines with intent to distribute and possession of amphetamine with intent to distribute. Prosecutors allege she sold Kramer’s firearm to an undercover ATF agent. She was released on unsecured bond following an initial court appearance.
Hoy is charged with possession of amphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute. He remains in federal custody, prosecutors say.
-- Daniel Kittredge