The former longtime business office manager of the Union Grove Water Supply Corp. has been indicted on a felony charge of stealing at least $20,000 from the firm, Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said Tuesday.
Janna Goza, 44, of Union Grove, turned herself in to authorities about 6 p.m. Monday after the county Grand Jury returned a sealed indictment against her the prior Wednesday on a charge of theft of property of the value of $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, Byrd said.
She was released from the Upshur County Jail at 10:15 p.m. Monday on a $20,000 surety bond, which was set in the indictment by 115th District Judge Lauren Parish, Byrd said.
The district attorney said some members of the corporation’s board met with him in late December after an individual brought a complaint to the board.
Byrd said he and his investigator, Jon Warren, “very quickly . . . determined that there was a crime. We opened a full investigation at that point.”
Mrs. Goza, who worked for the corporation about 14 years in the same capacity, was placed on administrative leave in January before the board fired her in late February or early March, Byrd said.
The money was allegedly stolen in “a continuous course of conduct going back to January 2010 until February of this year,” the district attorney said.
A large number of the corporation’s customers “paid cash to pay their bills, but that cash never made it to the bank,” Byrd said. M
Mrs. Goza “controlled all the money in accounts,” ran the corporation’s day-to-day operations, and “was generally the only one in the office,” Byrd told The Mirror.
He said he and Warren went through years of data on the corporation’s bank accounts and business accounts, and that Warren had the firm’s computer analyzed by an expert in what the prosecutor called a “paper trail case.”
The state did not specify exactly how much money Mrs. Goza is charged with taking, other than the range listed in the indictment.
Byrd said the case would go to trial late this year or early in 2013.
There was no answer Tuesday morning at a Gladewater phone number listed in the name of Janna Goza when The Mirror attempted to reach the defendant for comment. She lives in Union Grove, but has a Gladewater address, Byrd said.
Mrs. Goza’s was among nine indictments—four of them sealed—returned last Wednesday by the grand jury, which also passed three cases, Byrd said.
Defendants, charges and bonds in the unsealed indictments included:
• Colton J. Magill, 22, of Big Sandy, assault-family violence on Dec. 24, 2011, $50,000 surety bond. (This was a reindictment of this case.)
• Johnny Nephi Johnston, 58, of Gilmer, driving while intoxicated—subsequent offense—open container on March 31, $3,500 surety bond.
• Ronnie Paul Peel, 59, of Gilmer, driving while intoxicated; subsequent offense-habitual offender, on May 27. A $10,000 surety bond was set, but he remained in county jail under other charges.
• David Lynn Reed, 27, of Gilmer, driving while intoxicated-subsequent offense, on May 26, $10,000 surety bond
• Winston Lane Duncan, 35, of Dallas, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) on Oct. 22, 2011, $10,000 surety bond.
Other than Mrs. Goza’s, the sealed indictments included one each for family violence with prior conviction, bail jumping and failure to appear, and theft of property of the value of $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, Byrd’s office said.
They were sealed because no arrests had been made in those cases.
The passed cases involved two charges of fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, and one of forgery.