Third State Auditor Charged with Federal Program Fraud
BATON ROUGE, LA—United States Attorney Walt Green announced today that federal corruption charges has been filed against a third state auditor in the ongoing federal and state investigation into the Bureau of Auditing and Compliance Services for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). DCFS leadership has cooperated fully with the investigation.
COREY S. POLK, age 33, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been charged in a bill of information with federal program fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A). If convicted, Polk faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture of the proceeds from the offense, restitution, and up to three years of supervised release following a term of imprisonment. His initial appearance and arraignment will be held on a date to be determined.
Polk is charged based on his alleged conduct while employed as a managing auditor in the Special Investigations and External Audit Unit within DCFS’ Bureau of Audit and Compliance Services. In that role, Polk was responsible for handling special investigations, including those involving allegations of fraud and theft by individuals employed by DCFS, a state agency that receives more than a billion dollars in federal funding annually.
The bill of information alleges that Polk and his supervisor, Audit Director Delrice Augustus, fraudulently misused government purchasing cards to obtain items for personal use, including hotel stays during Mardi Gras and NBA All-Star Weekend, and created and used fraudulent documents to request and receive reimbursement from the State of Louisiana for official travel that did not occur. Polk would allegedly sign the fraudulent reimbursement requests as the requesting employee, and Augustus would sign as the approving supervisor. The state would then pay the requested amount, which Polk and Augustus would split.
Two other state auditors have been previously charged in this investigation. Augustus, who served as the director of the Bureau of Auditing and Compliance Services, was charged and pled guilty on May 28, 2014, to federal program fraud involving between $120,000 and $200,000. Kaneasha Goston, a former auditor within the Bureau of Auditing and Compliance Services, has been charged in a separate bill of information with federal program fraud and is scheduled for an initial appearance and arraignment on June 19, 2014.
The matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana Inspector General’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Corey R. Amundson who serves as Chief of the Criminal Division and Special Assistant United States Attorney J. Brad Casey.
A bill of information is an accusation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.