St. Mary Parish prosecutors have charged three south Louisiana residents with hundreds of counts of theft, racketeering and money laundering that allegedly netted them $1 million to $2 million in cash over 14 years.
The defendants also are accused of stealing rare artwork — including two lithographs by Salvador Dali — from the prominent Guarisco family in Morgan City.
All three are accused of stealing the money from now-closed Capital Management Consultants, where two of them — Karen Dehart Duhon and Donna Sue Peveto — were employed.
The 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office on Monday charged Karen Duhon, Armond Duhon and Peveto with 455 felony counts in a bill of information. The sweeping case included one count of racketeering, 100 counts of money laundering and 354 counts of theft of $1,500 or more.
Also charged were two companies: Nelson-Tucker LLC and A-B-C Siding Company, of Morgan City. Nelson-Tucker LLC is listed at the same Morgan City address as Karen and Armond Duhon, according to a court document.
According to the charges, which run 81 pages, Peveto and Karen Duhon collaborated hundreds of times by writing checks on the Capital Management Consultants account and depositing the money in personal checking accounts.
The fraudulent withdrawals were made multiple times each month in a scheme that ran from about Jan. 1, 2001, until March 2014. The amount Karen Duhon and Peveto allegedly stole varied each time from $4,500 to $14,000.
But during two days in July 2010, Karen Duhon, 60, allegedly wrote herself a check on one day for $50,000, then on the next wrote another for almost $40,500. According to the charges, she used the money to purchase a brand-new Toyota Sequoia.
Karen Duhon, and Peveto, 58 and now a resident of Houma, were arrested in July 2014 on multiple counts of felony theft, and each was released after posting bail of $150,000.
Armond Duhon, 61, was arrested last week by Morgan City police and jailed on suspicion of felony theft in the alleged scheme. He also was jailed for trying to intimidate a witness, Morgan City police said.
According to the website of the St. Mary Parish Law Enforcement Center — the parish jail in Centerville — Armond Duhon’s bail was set at $576,000. He remains in jail.
Efforts to reach Peveto and Karen Duhon on Monday were unsuccessful.