Former DISD Employee and Co-Conspirator Arrested on Mail Fraud Conspiracy
DALLAS — A former employee with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) and her co-conspirator were arrested by U.S. Postal Inspectors this morning in Irving, Texas, on an indictment returned by a federal grand jury last month charging each of them with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Maricella Reed, 40, and Adrian Bevelle, 31, appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renée Harris Toliver for their initial appearances and both were released on bond.
Reed was employed by the DISD as a data specialist in the worker’s compensation section of the district’s Risk Management Department. The indictment alleges that from May 7, 2009 to May 9, 2011, Reed used her position at DISD to cause approximately $160,000 in unauthorized payments to Bevelle.
Specifically, Reed altered information sent to Accounts Payable, substituting Bevelle’s name in place of legitimate claimants and adding Bevelle’s name and payment amounts to the list of legitimate claimants. She also created and submitted payment voucher forms for Bevelle in various amounts. Based on the information Reed provided, Accounts Payable issued checks to Bevelle and mailed the checks to him at addresses in Dallas and Irving. Bevelle received, endorsed and cashed the checks at various locations.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, conspiracy to commit mail fraud carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Restitution could also be ordered.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is investigating. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Allen-McCoy is prosecuting.
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