Former finance director for CVB seeks probation after being sentenced for embezzlement

Former finance director for CVB seeks probation after being sentenced for embezzlement
Bridget Johnson was the finance director at the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau for 20 years until she was terminated Oct. 3. (Source: WXIX)

COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - The former finance director for the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau is requesting shock probation after she was sentenced to 15 years in prison last December for pleading guilty to embezzlement.

Bridget Johnson is less than six months into her sentence.

According to Kentucky law, shock probation would suspend the rest of Johnson’s sentence and allow the remainder to be served under probation.

“Subject to the provisions of KRS Chapter 439 and Chapters 500 to 534, any Circuit Court may, upon motion of the defendant made not earlier than thirty (30) days nor later than one hundred eighty (180) days after the defendant has been incarcerated in a county jail following his conviction and sentencing pending delivery to the institution to which he has been sentenced, or delivered to the keeper of the institution to which he has been sentenced, suspend the further execution of the sentence and place the defendant on probation upon terms the court determines. Time spent on any form of release following conviction shall not count toward time required under this section.”

On Wednesday, a Kenton County judge held a hearing on Johnson’s motion and has taken it under advisement.

“It was her motion for shock probation," Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said Wednesday. "She’s already been sentenced to and is serving a 15-year sentence. It’s already over. The judge took it under submission and will rule on it in writing.”

Johnson was terminated from the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau in October 2018 after working there for 20 years.

The following month, Johnson pleaded guilty to theft of more than $1 million, unlawful access to a computer, and abuse of public trust of more than $100,000.

Following Johnson’s motion for shock probation, the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau issued a statement:

“Bridget Johnson violated the public trust. Having confessed and been convicted in Kenton Circuit Court, she should serve the full term of her sentence.”

During the trial, prosecutors claimed Johnson sent dozens of checks totaling $4 million to unauthorized individuals who claimed to be vendors between May 2017 and September 2018.

In July 2018, Keith Tasher was arrested in the Bahamas in connection with receiving funds from Johnson.

According to his arrest warrant, Tasher deposited the checks in his account and kept about $400,000 while using wire transfers to send the rest to accounts in China.

Tasher’s pretrial conference is scheduled for June 8, 2020.

A 42-year-old man arrested in the Bahamas has been accused of wiring money sent to him from a Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau employee to accounts in China.
A 42-year-old man arrested in the Bahamas has been accused of wiring money sent to him from a Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau employee to accounts in China. (Source: WXIX)

Johnson was terminated from the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau in October 2018 after working there for 20 years.

The following month, Johnson pleaded guilty to theft of more than $1 million, unlawful access to a computer, and abuse of public trust of more than $100,000.

Following Johnson’s motion for shock probation, the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau issued a statement:

“Bridget Johnson violated the public trust. Having confessed and been convicted in Kenton Circuit Court, she should serve the full term of her sentence.”

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