Emily Davis

Emily Davis

The former finance director of Franco's Athletic Club in Mandeville pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft and identity theft in a scheme to bilk the business of more than $1.7 million, according to 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery.

Emily L. Davis, 43, of Ponchatoula, was one of two people charged last year with conspiring to systematically steal cash and electronic funds from the health club over an eight-year period, a news release from the DA's office said.

Davis pleaded guilty to three counts of theft over $25,000, one count of theft between $5,000 and $25,000, and two counts of identity theft in a plea agreement.

She paid $100,000 in restitution and will have to make monthly payments totaling $25,000 over the next three years.

Judge Richard Swartz sentenced Davis to a total of 10 years but suspended all but one year of the sentence, which will be served under house arrest.

She will only be allowed to leave her home for work to enable her to make restitution payments, the news release said. If she does not meet the terms of the plea agreement, she could serve time in jail.

Davis apologized for her role in the scheme during the sentencing hearing. Franco’s owners agreed to the terms of the plea. 

Co-defendant Jennifer E. Thompson, 47, of Mandeville, the club’s former human resources director, awaits trial.

The two were accused of taking more than $1.4 million in cash for their personal use, erasing more than $165,000 in personal, in-house credit account charges through  fictitious bank accounts, erasing more than $19,000 in personal loans from their employer’s 401K retirement fund,and laundering the proceeds by making cash deposits, totaling $300,000 in various personal bank accounts.

Davis also was accused of using the name of the club’s owners to obtain $1,000 without authorization on two different occasions.

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