U.S. Army Employee to Plead Guilty to Stealing $100 Million for Jewelry, Clothing, Vehicles and Real Estate

Janet Yamanaka Mello was accused of “regularly” submitting fraudulent paperwork asking for funding for a fake vendor she created

<p>KSAT 12/YouTube</p> Janet Yamanaka Mello

KSAT 12/YouTube

Janet Yamanaka Mello

An employee of the U.S. Army plans to plead guilty after being accused of stealing more than $100 million in Army funds to spend on items such as jewelry, clothing and vehicles.

Janet Yamanaka Mello, a 57-year-old civilian financial program manager at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, signed a plea deal this week after being indicted for charges previously announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas back in December.

As reported at the time, Mello faced 10 counts related to a fraud scheme and was alleged to have “regularly” submitted fraudulent paperwork requesting funding from the Army for her Child Health and Youth Lifelong Development (CHYLD) organization.

The indictment argued that Mello's “CHYLD did not provide any services,” and that she instead used the funds to purchase “millions of dollars” in jewelry, clothing, vehicles and real estate.

According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Mello signed her plea agreement on Thursday. She has since been ordered to appear in court in San Antonio on Wednesday.

Mello's plea deal charges her with five counts of mail fraud and five counts of filing a false tax return, per the San Antonio Express-News, which noted that each mail fraud count comes with a 20-year maximum jail sentence — five years for tax fraud.

A lawyer for Mello did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment on Friday.

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Per the U.S. Attorney's Office, she was initially charged with five counts of mail fraud, four counts of engaging in a monetary transaction over $10,000 using criminally derived proceeds and one count of aggravated identity theft, as she was alleged to have falsified the digital signature of a supervisor “on multiple occasions.”

At the time, it was reported that she could see a “maximum penalty of 20 years in prison” for defrauding the Army and “up to 10 years in prison” for spending the funds. Falsifying her supervisor's signature also came with a potential sentence of  two years in prison.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Mello created her false vendor for the military's 4-H program in 2016, and had been accused of submitting fraudulent paperwork and receiving checks at UPS mailboxes she rented. Among the goods Mello used the funds on, the Express-News reports (citing court documents) that they were used to purchase over 80 vehicles, expensive meals, mansions and designer clothing.

Mello, who included CHYLD on her personal income tax forms, had her home raided in August after the IRS partnered with criminal investigators for the Army, per the Express-News.

Related: U.S. Army Employee Accused of Stealing $100 Million to Buy ‘Jewelry, Clothing, Vehicles and Real Estate’

The outlet also noted that the government is going after 31 properties under her name — in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and beyond — as well as 35 vehicles, 42 motorcycles and $18 million discovered in six bank accounts.

"Despite the massive amount of money that went to CHYLD, defendant's supervisors trusted defendant and did no independent verification that CHYLD actually provided services consistent with the purpose of the program, did no review of defendant's relationship to CHYLD, and took no additional steps to confirm the funds defendant authorized and requested were lawfully used consistent with the purpose of the program," Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Simmons wrote in a court document, per the Express-News.

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Read the original article on People.