Misty Corb, 38, of Meraux, Louisiana, received a suspended probation sentence after she pleaded guilty to stealing a total of$116,000 from the state supreme court while working as a supervisor in its payroll department. She was charged with four counts of identity theft.
Corb first drew attention to herself when state auditors couldn’t find the paperwork for a retired judge’s temporary assignment back in 2016. The state’s high court appoints and pays retired judges to temporarily preside over courtrooms if elected judges resign, retire, or are away from their duties for long stretches because of an illness or other reasons.
Prosecutors ultimately discovered Corb forged and submitted payment requests in the names of four retired judges. She made up assignments for these judges, which explained why auditors couldn’t locate the paperwork and deposited the paychecks received into bank accounts she had access to. Corb stowed the money in numerous locations, hoping to make it difficult to track down, including Opelousas, Natchitoches, and Greenwood, Mississippi.
She eventually left the Supreme Court in March of last year, about four months before State Police arrested her on 29 counts of identity theft, computer fraud, malfeasance in office, public salary deduction, and public payroll fraud.
Corb has since repaid $70,000 in confiscated funds and a court has ordered her to repay the remainder, so she will ultimately be held responsible for the full amount. She received a four-year suspended prison sentence and four years of inactive probation. And, Corb was ordered to pay the remaining $46,000 in restitution.
New Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro called Corb’s actions “brazen and disappointing.” He added, “We are only hopeful that this court will be able to recoup the remainder of the restitution owed to the state Supreme Court.”
This was a fitting case for Judge Arthur Hunter of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in New Orleans, however, who is well-known for his efforts to rehabilitate sentenced criminals so they do not re-offend when released from prison. Hunter and fellow jurist Laurie A. White founded the Orleans Re-entry Court Workforce Development Program back in 2010. The program uses inmates serving life sentences in Louisiana State Penitentiary as teachers of GED classes to shorter sentenced criminals. They provide job training in trades that offer good wages and life skills, so when the prisoners are released, their re-entry is more seamless.
“I tell people that I want to make these guys into taxpayers. They’re now tax takers,” Hunter said of the program. He was a former police officer and the son of a grocery store owner. Hunter made sure Corb was aware of the potential to expunge the felony conviction if she completes probation and repays the money. She has been offered this option because she entered her plea as a first-time offender.
Corb’s attorney, Davidson Ehle, said his client has “great remorse” and she was experiencing difficult personal circumstances when she took the money. “There’s great remorse there, and she’s very motivated to pay every single dime back to the Louisiana Supreme Court,” he said.