News and Press Releases


July 11, 2012

ROBERT P. McFARLAND, age 69, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, pled guilty in federal court today before U. S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon to one count of theft of government funds, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.

According to court documents, MCFARLAND was the executive director of New Orleans Educational Talent Search Program, Inc. (NOETS), a non-profit corporation in New Orleans, Louisiana, which received over $1.3 million in federal grant funds from the United States Department of Education through its Talent Search Program from 2001 through 2004. From 2001 through 2004, while working as the executive director of NOETS, MCFARLAND embezzled federal program funds in an amount not exceeding $400,000, not including his salary payments, by writing hundreds of checks on NOETS bank accounts to himself or to cash, by obtaining numerous cash advances on NOETS credit card accounts, by charging meals and other items at various restaurants, and by making cash withdrawals from NOETS accounts at ATM machines.

Upon sentencing, scheduled for November 15, 2012, MCFARLAND faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years, a $250,0000 fine, restitution to United States Department of Education, three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Carol L. Michel and Mimi Nguyen.

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