An audit director with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services allegedly used a state credit card to illegally buy all sorts of electronics and other personal items.
Trooper Jared Sandifer says that Delrice J. Augustus is facing several charges.
"Some of the items that Augustus purchased fraudulently included DVD movies, flat screen TVs, iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, and a dishwasher," the Louisiana State Police spokesman said in a news release. "After being interviewed by State Police Detectives, Augustus stated that he made fraudulent purchases using his assistant's assigned LaCarte card. Augustus informed Detectives that he purchased numerous items of merchandise with the LaCarte card for his personal use and was aware that these acts were illegal."
The 34-year-old man faces various counts of theft, possession of stolen goods and malfeasance in office.
Sandifer says the alleged crimes were first detected during an internal audit.
"The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) notified State Police Detectives and the State Inspector General's Office that during an audit they discovered what appeared to be several fraudulent purchases," Sandifer explained.
The trooper says they found some of the illegally purchased item during a search of Augustus' residence.
Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Suzy Sonnier stated, "I am shocked and saddened that a senior employee with DCFS would violate my trust, but more importantly the public trust through his alleged criminal actions."
Louisiana State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson said, "As soon as Secretary Sonnier contacted me I dispatched Detectives to DCFS to investigate the alleged criminal misconduct. I am thankful to her staff as well as the Investigators with the Office of the Inspector General for their support and cooperation throughout the investigation. It is incumbent upon all of us to work together in maintaining public trust and the integrity of our departments."
Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street commented, "It is hard to fathom how an audit director at a large state agency could engage in this sort of blatant theft, but that is exactly what happened here. This case is particularly shocking because of the position of high trust that Mr. Augustus holds at DCFS. We will continue to work with State Police and other partners in law enforcement to relentlessly pursue those who abuse the public trust and hold them criminally accountable wherever possible."