At last word the case against a Bishop woman convicted of embezzling $760,000 from the Bishop branch of the Washington Mutual Bank had taken a new twist.
Court documents showed that JoAnn Barba was supposed to self surrender to authorities on Friday at 2:00 pm. Family members who we spoke to reported that Barba was still at home and very upset. The family said they had first heard that Barba was supposed to report to prison Friday from our radio reports. Citing problems with Barbas lawyer, family members stated that Barba had never pleaded guilty in person and had not been before the judge to be sentenced.
Court documents tell a completely different story. The most recent order stated that Barba was required to surrender on Friday September 18th to start her 33 month sentence at the Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville.
When asked, a Department of Justice Official reported that prosecutors dont generally get involved in cases after there has been a sentence. The spokesperson called this situation, odd.
This is a case that has touched a nerve in Bishop. The case has gone on over two years. At every court date, and scheduled court appearance, residents have called the station to ask for updates. One woman who called on Friday stated that she was one of the fraud victims. Washington Mutual doesnt exist anymore having been bought out by Chase during the recent banking issues in the Fall of 2008, but officials with WAMU stated that the victims had been paid back by the bank. WAMU officials stated that the bank had lost $600,000 in the fraud.
Weve contacted Barbas Attorney for more information and await a reply.