Former DeKalb County Commissioner Sentenced for Stealing County Funds
ATLANTA—Elaine Boyer, former Commissioner of District 1 in DeKalb County, Georgia, has been sentenced for embezzling county funds and misusing her government credit card.
“Elaine Boyer helped herself to over $75,000 in taxpayer funds which were intended to benefit and improve DeKalb County,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John A. Horn. “Instead, she used the money for things like her personal travel and for purchases at high-end department stores. The citizens of DeKalb County deserve to be represented by honest elected officials who put the interests of the public first.”
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The sentencing of former Dekalb County Commissioner Boyer concludes a lengthy career serving the people of Dekalb County. In spite of her otherwise admirable service to her community, Ms. Boyer lost her way and crossed the line of the law, resulting in the end of her public service career and time in federal prison to reflect on it all.”
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: In DeKalb County, Georgia, the Board of Commissioners (“BOC”) serves as the legislative branch of the DeKalb County Government. The BOC is comprised of seven part-time commissioners, who are elected to serve four-year terms. Each of the seven Commissioners is responsible for the management of their respective offices, which includes controlling the offices’ budget and hiring staff members, contractors, and consultants. In recent years, the operating budget for a Commissioner’s office has been approximately $250,000 per year. The Commissioners may use their budget only for county-related business.
In 1992, Ms. Boyer began serving as the Commissioner of District 1, which served citizens in north DeKalb County, including in Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Tucker, and Smoke Rise, Georgia. Among other responsibilities, Ms. Boyer sat on the BOC’s Finance, Budget, and Audit Committee and was the Chairwoman of the Employee Relations and Community Services Committee. Although Boyer’s term of office did not expire until 2016, she resigned on August 25, 2014, the day before she was charged in this case.
In September 2009, as the Commissioner of District 1, Ms. Boyer retained an individual (“Advisor”) supposedly to assist her with government consulting and advisory duties on issues that affected her constituents. From September 2009 to November 2011, false invoices were submitted to Ms. Boyer’s office for consulting services purportedly rendered by the Advisor. In fact, the Advisor performed no services for Ms. Boyer, District 1 constituents, or DeKalb County. Ms. Boyer used the false invoices as a basis to authorize payments to the Advisor. Based on requisition requests from Ms. Boyer, DeKalb County issued approximately 35 checks to the Advisor for consulting services that were never performed. In total, DeKalb County paid the Advisor approximately $80,000, believing that legitimate services had been performed for the county.
After being paid by DeKalb County, the Advisor funneled approximately 75% of the money received from DeKalb County into Ms. Boyer’s personal bank account. Between September 2009 and November 2011, the Advisor deposited approximately $60,000 in DeKalb County funds into Ms. Boyer’s personal bank account (while retaining the remainder of the money). In turn, Ms. Boyer used the money deposited into her account to pay personal expenses, including purchases at hotels and high-end department stores.
Additionally, in her capacity as a Commissioner, DeKalb County issued Ms. Boyer a Visa Purchasing Card (“P-Card”) to make county-related purchases. On January 14, 2010, she signed a Cardholder Users’ Agreement stating she would not use the P-Card to make personal purchases.
From October 2010 to February 2014, Ms. Boyer made more than 50 personal purchases on her P-Card, including purchasing airline tickets and hotel rooms for herself and her family for personal travel. In total, she made over $15,000 worth of purchases on her P-Card for personal goods and services.
On September 3, 2014, Elaine Boyer, 58, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. Today, Boyer was sentenced to one year, two months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $87,350.
On February 20, 2015, Elaine Boyer’s husband, John Boyer, 62, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit mail fraud. Mr. Boyer is scheduled to be sentenced on May 6, 2015, at 2:00 p.m., before the Honorable Orinda D. Evans.
This case is being investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey W. Davis and Kurt R. Erskine are prosecuting the case.