Lamberts Plead Guilty to Embezzlement from Town of Brockton
GREAT FALLS—Four members of a Brockton family have entered felony guilty pleas in connection with the embezzlement of $132,564 in municipal monies belonging to the Town of Brockton by former business manager Desiree Lambert. Desiree Lambert, 59, pleaded guilty to fraud, embezzlement, and aggravated identity theft. Her husband, Bernard Lambert, 66, and her daughters, Kaycee Lambert, 35, and Kayla Lambert, 30, pled guilty to aiding and abetting Desiree Lambert’s embezzlement. The United States Attorney’s Office announced that the guilty pleas were entered in federal court in Great Falls before U.S. District Judge Brian Morris. Morris set sentencing for all four defendants for March 5, 2015.
In an offer of proof, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon told the court that Desiree Lambert was hired by the Town of Brockton as a business manager. Beginning in December of 2012, Lambert began writing municipal checks payable to herself and members of her family. Lambert forged the signature of the Mayor of Brockton to negotiate the checks, the proceeds of which were used for gambling and to supplement the family’s lifestyle. Between January 2013 and March of 2014 when the embezzlement was discovered, Lambert embezzled $132,564 in public funds.
The Town of Brockton is a town of about 250 people located on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation about 15 miles east of Poplar, Montana, and received much of its funding from the federal government. Between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2014, in addition to funding from other federal sources, the Town of Brockton received $129,352 in Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants to augment their public safety budget which Lambert admitted she used, with accounting transfers, to conceal her thefts from other municipal funds.
Desiree and Bernard Lambert were previously prosecuted in federal court in 2006 based upon embezzling $12,000 from the Fort Peck Tribe when Desiree Lambert was the Director of the Fort Peck Department of Education and Bernard Lambert was then the Superintendent for the Brockton School District. In 2007, both defendants were sentenced to a year in federal custody.
The investigation leading to the indictment handed down by the federal grand jury in August of this year, to which today’s guilty pleas were entered, was conducted by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice as part of the Guardians Project which seeks to crack-down on corruption in federal grants and contracts, primarily in Indian communities.