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Woman indicted on fraud charges

No one wants to be accused of fraud, and it can come as a shock when you're accused after many years of service. That's what happened in this case involving a former employee of the Rapides Parish District Attorney's office. The former employee is facing charges for theft and has been indicted by a federal jury. According to a Jan. 30 report, the indictment went through with two counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds. The woman who was indicted had been an employee and bookkeeper at the District Attorney's office from October 1988 through October 2015. She resigned from the position in 2015.

The woman handled funds from the IV-D Fund, which includes federal grants. Those grants come from the Child Support Enforcement and Paternity Establishment Program, the Special Asset Forfeiture Fund, bond forfeiture fund and general fund. The two counts against the woman specifically identify attempts to cover up thefts by transferring funds from each of the different grants.

The first indictment states that the woman did not deposit $794,166 in cash assets received from the SAF Fund. The second states she misdirected $68,673.94 to hide a shortage in the SAF Funds. If she is convicted of these charges, she will forfeit any property or assets she has that can be traced to the funds that have been stolen. She also faces charges of theft, malfeasance in office and first-degree injuring of public records.

If you're accused of fraudulent behavior, it's important to defend yourself from the moment of arrest. You need to protect yourself and your hard-earned assets.

Source: The Town Talk, "Beard indicted by federal grand jury in DA theft case," Melissa Gregory, Jan. 30, 2017

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