A Cache Valley woman pleaded guilty in 1st District Court on Monday to charges related to the theft of over $128,000 while in control of the victims’ funds.
Melissa Ann Niederhauser, 40, pleaded guilty to two second-degree felonies: theft and unlawful dealing of property by a fiduciary. In accordance with a plea agreement, 22 additional felonies were dismissed in exchange for the plea.
Defense attorney Erin Byington told the court the plea agreement would also allow for a two-step reduction in charges — reducing the second-degree felonies to class-A misdemeanors — once the full amount of restitution is paid. Niederhauser will also be required to make a payment of $20,000 by the time of sentencing.
Charges were filed against Niederhauser on March 26, 2020.
Cache County prosecutors allege Niederhauser had been in charge of the victims’ finances while they were out of the country. After forging several documents and making several withdrawals, Niederhauser acquired over $128,000.
According to prosecutors, the incidents began in 2016 and continued for nearly 20 months.
Documents filed with the court state Niderhauser was employed as a “securities and insurance broker in a fiduciary capacity” at the time of the incidents.
Niederhauser is set to appear for sentencing on April 19.