BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A Shelby County woman was sentenced to 26 months in prison for embezzling more than a million dollars.
United States District Court Judge Karon O. Bowdre delivered the sentence against Betty Jo “BJ” Latis on Tuesday. The 26 month sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.
According to the press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Latis worked as an office manager and administrator at Colon & Rectal Surgical Associates of Birmingham from 2005 to 2020. The US Department of Justice said she handled bookkeep and accounting functions in that role and used that position to embezzle money from the practice.
From 2013 and 2020, the DOJ said Latis transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to a PayPal account. She used this money for her and her spouse, taking trips and cruises, paying off bills and debts as well as buying expensive commodities such as an $8,000 sound system from BestBuy.
Latis did not remain hidden however, as the FBI discovered and investigated her. Assistant U.S. Attorney J.B. Ward was the one who prosecuted the case against her.
According to a plea agreement, she admitted “to stealing more than $1.1 million from the practice during her tenure there.”