State Auditor Pleads Guilty to Theft from a Federal Program
BATON ROUGE, LA—United States Attorney Walt Green announced today another conviction in the ongoing federal and state investigation into corruption at the Bureau of Auditing and Compliance Services for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The DCFS has cooperated fully and provided valuable assistance with the investigation.
COREY S. POLK, age 33, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pled guilty today before Judge James J. Brady to a Bill of Information charging him with theft from a federally funded entity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A), and POLK admitted to the forfeiture allegation. He faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, up to three years of supervised release following imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000, restitution to the victim, and forfeiture of the proceeds of his criminal activity. His sentencing date has not yet been set.
POLK was employed with DCFS’s Bureau of Auditing and Compliance Services, which was responsible for safeguarding assets against theft and unauthorized use, for ensuring that transactions were properly authorized and recorded, and for ensuring compliance with management policies and federal and state laws and regulations. During the period he was employed with this department, DCFS received over a billion dollars annually in federal funds.
At today’s hearing, POLK admitted to submitting fraudulent reimbursement receipts to receive money for official state travel that did not occur. The fake receipts that were submitted were signed both by POLK and by DCFS Audit Director, Delrice Augustus, who pled guilty to his involvement in the scheme on May 28, 2014. When the requested amount of reimbursement would be received, POLK and Augustus would split the fraudulent payments. POLK also admitted to using state purchase cards to pay for hotel suites in New Orleans for personal use and not for official state business. A third DCFS state auditor involved in this scheme, Kaneasha L. Goston, pled guilty June 19, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Green stated: “The United States Attorney’s Office, along with our state and federal partners, are committed to safeguarding all types of programs that are taken advantage of by fraudsters. This case is a great example of federal and state agencies working together effectively.”
This matter is being handled by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana Inspector General’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Corey R. Amundson, who serves as the First Assistant and Chief of the Criminal Division, and Special Assistant United States Attorney J. Brad Casey.