Former District Of Columbia Government Employee Pleads Guilty To Stealing Over $114,000 From Citizen’s Bank AccountDefendant Gained Access To Bank Information While Working At The D.C. Office Of Tax And Revenue
WASHINGTON - Catyondia Ballard, 48, a former employee of the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue, pled guilty today to a federal charge stemming from her theft of over $114,000 from the bank account of a retired military member, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Blanche L. Bruce, Interim Inspector General for the District of Columbia.
Ballard, of Bowie, Md., pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of wire fraud. The Honorable Judge Rudolph Contreras scheduled sentencing for Aug. 22, 2014. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Ballard faces a likely range of 15 to 21 months of incarceration, as well as a fine of up to $40,000. Under the plea agreement, Ballard also must pay restitution to the victim. The government maintains that the victim’s losses total, at least, $114,166. Finally, Ballard is subject to an additional forfeiture money judgment.
According to the government’s evidence, Ballard became familiar with the victim through her job at the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue. While there, Ballard gained access to the victim’s personal biographical information, as well as the victim’s bank account information. Using the victim’s information, Ballard began wiring funds from the victim’s bank account directly to Ballard’s account at a loan servicing company in order to pay off Ballard’s mortgage. From March 2007 through April 2010, Ballard directed a total of $114,166 of the victim’s funds to Ballard’s account without the victim’s permission.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Interim Inspector General Bruce commended the work of those who investigated the case from the District of Columbia’s Office of the Inspector General. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Donna Galindo, Corinne Kleinman, and Angela Lawrence; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard DiZinno, who investigated and prosecuted the matter.14-128