LEXINGTON, KY - A former administrator with an Eastern Kentucky Conservation District is accused of defrauding the district of more than $200,000.
A federal grand jury in Lexington returned an indictment today charging 48-year-old Debra L. Marshall of Clayhole, Ky., with four counts of mail fraud.
The Indictment alleges that as the Breathitt County Conservation District (BCCD) Administrative Secretary, Marshall had control over the district's finances. From 2005 until March of 2010, Marshall allegedly took money from the BCCD in several different ways including using the BCCD credit card to make personal purchases. The indictment states that Marsall covered up the loss by falsifying accounting records.
According to the indictment, when the district funds dwindled because of her scheme, Marshall cashed the BCCD's certificates of deposits and placed that money into the district’s operating account.
Marshall fraudulently obtained approximately $211,000 from the BCCD for her personal benefit over the course of the scheme according to the indictment.
All 120 counties in Kentucky have conservation districts. They are created by state law to provide assistance to county farmers and other county residents with farming needs among other things. Each district receives state, federal and local funds.
Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Perrye K. Turner, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Rodney Brewer, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police jointly made the announcement today.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kentucky State Police. The indictment was presented to the grand jury by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth R. Taylor and Andrew T. Boone.
A date for Marshall to appear in court has not yet been scheduled. She faces up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal statutes.
An indictment is an accusation only. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.