Acadiana Outreach Case Manager Pleads Guilty to Involvement in OWI Bribery Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 05, 2013|
LAFAYETTE, LA—United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that former Acadiana Outreach Center case manager, Elaine Crump, 59, of Lafayette, pleaded guilty to a one-count bill of information charging her with misprision of a felony, that is, failure to report a bribery scheme.
This plea is related to the bribery investigation in which individuals within the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office accepted bribes in return for their participation in the facilitation of “immediate 894 pleas.”
The Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 894 provides a procedure by which a person can initially plead guilty to a crime with the understanding that the conviction will be set aside if the person successfully completes certain requirements imposed during a probationary period, including community service.
Crump made the following admissions in her factual stipulations entered during the guilty plea hearings in open court before Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Hanna today:
In September 2007, Crump began working at Acadiana Outreach as an intake specialist. In 2009, she was promoted to the position of case manager. In early 2010, Crump was approached by a former Acadiana Outreach case manager whom she had worked with from September 2007 to October 2009. The case manager confessed to Crump that she had been creating false Acadiana Outreach community service certificates while employed as a case manager. The certificates purported to confirm that individuals had completed court-mandated community service when, in fact, they had not done so. Because she was no longer employed by Acadiana Outreach, the former case manager asked Crump to assist her with continuing the fraud.
The former case manager proposed to Crump that she, the former case manager, would continue preparing fraudulent Acadiana Outreach certificates on official letterhead, and in exchange for payments, Crump would allow her, the former case manager, to forge Crump’s signature on the fraudulent certificates. Crump agreed to the former case manager’s proposal, even though she understood that the certificates would falsely certify that the listed individual had completed the mandated community service, and that the certificates would be filed in the court record of the 15th Judicial District criminal proceedings. Thereafter, Crump began receiving regular payments from the former case manager ranging from $25 to $100 in cash. Crump understood that the former case manager was being paid by another individual who was obtaining the false certificates from the former case manager and causing them to be filed into the court record.
In an effort to avoid detection, the former case manager would provide Crump with the names of the individuals for whom the former case manager had prepared false certificates and the number of completed community service hours reflected on the fraudulent certificates. This enabled Crump to falsely verify the accuracy of the certificates if questioned by employees of Acadiana Outreach or courthouse staff.
In September 2011, shortly after Crump was laid off from Acadiana Outreach, the former case manager proposed to Crump that she, the former case manager, continue creating additional fraudulent certificates and forging Crump’s name on them, but backdating the documents to a period in which Crump was employed by Acadiana Outreach. Crump agreed and continued to receive payments from the former case worker.
At sentencing, Crump faces a term of imprisonment of up to three years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, and a term of supervised release of not more than three years, following confinement.
“Those involved in this bribery scheme have put their own interests above that of the criminal justice system,” Finley said. “Crump’s work at the Outreach Center was an important part of the 894 process and was designed to help people and assist in protecting the public, not to help facilitate Crump’s greed. My office and the FBI will continue to investigate and prosecute corruption in the Western District of Louisiana.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker and Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Willis are prosecuting the case.