MUSKOGEE — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced that Jo Ann Steward, 50, of Albany, pleaded guilty to a federal indictment of theft of federal program funds. Charges arose from an investigation by the Durant Police Department and the United States Secret Service. Steward defendant was indicted last month
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, on September 12, 2007, through October 23, 2009, Steward, the office manager of Reynolds Construction, a business receiving benefits in excess of $10,000 each year from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and United States Department of Agriculture, embezzled, stole, obtained by fraud or otherwise without authority converted property worth at least $5,000 and under the care, custody or control of Reynolds Construction. The Honorable Kimberly E. West, Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, accepted the guilty plea and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled following its completion. The statutory range of punishment is not more than 10 years imprisonment and/or up to a $250,000.00 fine. The defendant remains on bond. Assistant United States Attorney Melody Nelson represented the United States.