May 13, 2015

New Orleans Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing Educational Funds

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that KIM CASSELL, age 52, of Ruston, pled guilty today to stealing money from Open World Family Services, Inc. (“Open World”). Open World was a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable corporation organized for the purpose of helping students in the greater New Orleans area grow academically.

According to court documents, from March 2010 until June 2012, CASSELL knowingly used more than $140,000 in federal grant money for her personal benefit, rather than for its intended educational purposes.

CASSELL faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and restitution to the United States Department of Education. U.S. DistrictJudge Ivan L.R. Lemelle set sentencing for August 19, 2015.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor in investigating this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharan E. Lieberman is in charge of the prosecution.