Ex-worker at Houston home decor business guilty in $2M fraud

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- An ex-worker at a Houston home decor store has pleaded guilty in a $2 million insurance scam in which customers intentionally fell and then filed claims.

Sandra Johnson, 48, of Katy, faces up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors on Tuesday announced the former claims manager at a Garden Ridge Pottery store pleaded guilty to receiving kickbacks in the money laundering conspiracy.

The case involved more than two dozen false claims approved by Johnson and settlements topping $2 million. Prosecutors say the money was shared by Johnson, the fake victims and others in the scheme.

Johnson's sister, Natalie Jeng, 42, of Katy, was an adjuster for a business hired by Garden Ridge to also review the claims and approve payments. Jeng, Darlene Drummer, 43, of Fresno, and Niesha Hall, 36, of Houston, have all also pleaded guilty in the scam.

Johnson faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The other three women convicted in the scheme will also be sentenced on that date.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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