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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


APRIL 11, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


RICHMOND WOMAN SENTENCED FOR EMBEZZLING

FROM SENIORS PROGRAM


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the former director of a federal program for senior citizens in Ray County, Mo., was sentenced in federal court today for embezzling from the program.


            Jennifer J. Rugg, 61, of Richmond, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith this morning to four months in federal prison without parole, followed by four months of home detention in conjunction with three years of supervised release. The court also ordered Rugg to pay $84,436 in restitution.


            Rugg formerly served as project director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), operated by the Ray County Fellowship Center in Richmond. RSVP finances programs offering community and volunteer service opportunities for persons age 55 and above. The center received a federal grant distributed by the Corporation for National and Community Service to operate the program.


            On Dec. 5, 2007, Rugg pleaded guilty to stealing from a program that receives federal funds. Rugg admitted that she embezzled more than $55,000 from the program, in addition to charging $34,270 in personal expenses to credit card accounts belonging to the Ray County Fellowship Center.


            Rugg admitted that she altered bank statements sent to the center in 2005 and 2006 by scanning the statement into a computer, converting it into a text document, then making changes to the statement before submitting it to the center’s accountant. She also admitted to forging the signature of the center’s board of directors on checks drawn on the center’s account.


            Rugg fraudulently established credit card accounts on behalf of the center, the program’s former director and herself and fraudulently charged personal expenses to these credit card accounts. Rugg also admitted that she diverted program funds to make payments to her personal credit card accounts for purchases for her personal use.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Michael Warner. It was investigated by the Corporation for National and Community Service – Office of Inspector General.



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www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html