John Franklin Howard, Raley CFO, Allegedly Stole From Company To Hire Hit Man To Kill His Wife

09/10/2012 05:43 pm ET | Updated Sep 11, 2012

A Texas man accused of hiring a hit man to kill his wife may have paid the hit man using his company’s money, a new lawsuit alleges.

Raley Holdings is suing its CFO, John Franklin Howard, and JPMorgan Chase, accusing Howard of transferring millions of dollars of Raley’s money into accounts he created at JPMorgan between 2009 and 2011 where he was the sole signatory. (Hat tip: Courthouse News.)

The lawsuit also alleges Howard used money from these accounts to hire a hit man to kill his wife, Nancy.

Nancy Howard lost an eye last month after she was shot in the face by a man police allege Howard paid $85,000 to kill her, according to ABC News. Howard may have a girlfriend in California, his arrest warrant says, but police wouldn’t comment to ABC due to the ongoing investigation.

A jailhouse informant tipped off the FBI to the murder-for-hire plot, but agents didn’t tell local police until after Nancy Howard was shot, according to KDAF TV.

Raley’s lawsuit alleges that Howard used his power to sign company checks and his knowledge of the company’s banking and tax information to funnel money from the company to his JPMorgan accounts using the names of companies he created for Raley, but to which he had sole access.

He then wired some of that money to the people he hired to kill his wife, according to information in his arrest affidavit cited by the lawsuit. Howard would also write checks to himself from Raley’s accounts sometimes classifying them as “office supplies,” according to the suit.

Raley executives didn’t realize Howard was misusing company funds until he was arrested for allegedly hiring the hit man, according to the suit. Among other things, the company is seeking damages, a restraining order and asking JPMorgan to freeze the accounts in question.

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