Coeur d’Alene, Idaho - Laurecene (Lori) Barnes Isenberg, 65, of Coeur d’Alene, was sentenced on April 30, to 60 months in prison for wire fraud and theft from a federal program, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced.
Senior U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge sentenced Isenberg to 60 months in federal prison and ordered Isenberg to pay $579,495.75 in restitution as well as a $20,000 fine. After her prison term is up Isenberg will serve three years on supervised release during which time she will report to a federal probation officer.
During Isenberg’s sentencing, victim impact statements were made by the North Idaho Housing Coalition President and the Idaho Housing and Finance Association Program Manager. Both outlined how Isenberg’s theft from the nonprofit prohibited the nonprofit Coalition from helping low income families find affordable housing. Additionally it was noted that nonprofits are overseen by a volunteer board who rely on honest employees to fulfill the mission of the organization. They explained how sophisticated Isenberg’s scheme was.
According to court records, Isenberg admitted to stealing $579,495.75 from the North Idaho Housing Coalition which was funded in part with grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development administered through the Idaho Housing and Finance Association. Isenberg was the executive director when she engaged in a scheme to submit false invoices and expenses for payment. These invoices were often submitted in the names of companies she set up in her daughter’s names.
On May 1, 2019, Isenberg’s remaining two daughters, Tracy Tesch, 34, of Rathdrum, Idaho and April Barnes, 42, of Coeur d’Alene, were sentenced by Judge Lodge for conspiracy to commit program theft. Tesch was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $15,356.75 in restitution. Barnes was sentenced to one month of home detention, three years’ probation, and ordered to pay $11,585.92 in restitution. Judge Lodge also ordered both to complete 100 hours of community service.
In total, four of Isenberg’s daughters pled guilty to conspiracy to commit program theft in connection with Isenberg’s offense. Collectively, the four daughters were ordered to pay over $58,000 in restitution.
Judge Lodge noted “Isenberg’s crime affected many needy people”.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Coeur d’Alene City Police Department.