Friday, July 26, 2013

Two charged in LSU Eunice embezzlement

Two of the former LSU Eunice employees implicated in federal fund theft were formally charged in federal court Wednesday.

Marvette Thomas, former Office of Academic Assistance director, and Carra Sergent, former OAA assistant director, were each charged with one count of theft of federal funds. Internal and legislative audits late last year and early this year revealed nearly $160,000 in federal student assistance money had been improperly used for personal purchases.

Thomas is accused of illegally spending $68,464 and Sergent is said to have spent $74,653. Two other employees implicated in both audits were not charged.

Allegedly purchased items detailed in the legislative audit include iPads, exercise equipment, video game consoles and Grambling State University apparel. According to court documents, Thomas and Sergent are accused of making the purchases between September 2008 and February 2012. Each had resigned from LSUE before the internal audit was released.

Prosecutors want the two to forfeit their alleged purchases so the money can be returned to LSUE, which has independently paid back the federal money and seeks reimbursement.

The case is in federal court because LSUE receives at least $10,000 in federal funds annually.

A hearing date was not set as of press time.

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