FORMER DAWSON COUNTY PUBLIC OFFICIAL APPEARS IN COURT ON FEDERAL TAX EVASION AND BANKRUPTCY FRAUD CHARGES
April 26, 2011
Becky McCord Accused of Embezzling Over $120,000 in Public Funds While
Clerk of Court for Dawson County Superior Court
GAINESVILLE, GA - BECKY M. MCCORD, 62, of Dawsonville, Georgia, made an initial appearance in United States Magistrate Court today after being charged in a Criminal Information with federal tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud. McCORD, while working as the Clerk of Court for Dawson County Superior Court, is accused of stealing more than $120,000 of county monies and failing to pay taxes on those additional incomes.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Our citizens expect our courts and the people who work in them to be fair, honest, and to protect the public treasury as well as the community. This trusted court employee allegedly chose to use public funds as her personal piggy bank, and will now face the consequences for her actions.”
IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Reginael McDaniel said, “The IRS primarily enforces the nation’s tax laws, but also takes particular interest in cases where someone, for their own personal benefit, has taken what belonged to others. No matter what position a person has in government, it is unacceptable to help oneself to other people s money and violate the public trust. If a public official commits a crime, that status will not provide protection from federal prosecution.”
Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta, said, “Ms. McCord's alleged criminal conduct as a public official is disconcerting in that cases such as this strike at the core of the public trust. The FBI remains committed to working with its law enforcement partners to ensure that those individuals who do betray the public trust in such a manner will be promptly investigated and presented for prosecution.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: McCORD served as the Clerk of Court for the Superior Court of Dawson County, Georgia, from 1993 to February 2010. Between 2006 and 2009, McCORD allegedly wrote and signed checks payable to herself from the Dawson County Superior Court’s bank account to which she was not entitled. The total amount of these checks approximated $134,000. McCORD is charged with subsequently cashing those checks at various banks in Dawsonville, and using the funds for personal expenses such as a car loan and mortgage payments.
According to the Criminal Information, McCORD did not report on her 2009 federal tax return the funds she withdrew from the Dawson County Superior Court’s bank account for personal use, nor did she report additional legitimate income that she received from the collection of passport fees. McCORD also allegedly failed to report this income on a bankruptcy petition that she filed jointly with her spouse in December 2007, and amended several times through June 2009.
McCORD was charged in a Criminal Information that was filed today in open court with one count of tax evasion for the 2009 tax year and one count of bankruptcy fraud. If convicted on the charges, she could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. In determining an appropriate sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant United States Attorneys Steven D. Grimberg and Stephanie Gabay-Smith are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.