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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Former Pulaski County Sheriff's Office Employee Pleads Guilty, Admits to Stealing Sheriff's Office Funds

LITTLE ROCK—Patrick C. Harris, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today that former Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) employee Kelvin Hendrix, 48, of Bauxite, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Jennifer Gann, 36, of North Little Rock, who conspired with Hendrix to steal funds from the PCSO, also pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Hendrix and Gann each waived indictment and pleaded to a one-count federal Information. Today’s hearings took place in Little Rock before United States District Court Judge D.P. Marshall Jr., who will sentence Hendrix and Gann on October 12.

As detailed in the change of plea hearings, between April 2011 and April 2016, Hendrix, a former Quartermaster for the Pulaski County Regional Detention Center who worked for the PCSO for 25 years, and Gann, a former employee at Cruse Uniforms & Equipment, devised a scheme to steal funds allocated by the PCSO for the purchase of uniforms and equipment. The pair then used those stolen funds to purchase firearms and other goods from Cruse for personal use.

As the Quartermaster, Hendrix managed the purchase and distribution of uniforms and equipment for all employees working at the jail. All uniforms and equipment for these employees are purchased from Cruse. Gann was the Inside Sales Manager for Cruse and worked for Cruse for 16 years.

Detention Center employees received a uniform and equipment monetary allowance, to be used at Cruse. As part of the scheme, Hendrix provided Gann a list of employees who had not used their entire allowance, and Gann created false purchase invoices for items purportedly purchased by those employees. Based on those false purchase orders, the PCSO remitted payment (via the United States Postal Service) to Cruse. Gann would then produce another invoice showing the items as returned, and credit the value of the items to Hendrix—rather than the PCSO—in the form of a store credit.

As an example, on December 2, 2015, Gann created a purchase invoice with information provided by Hendrix, for the purchase of 42 PCSO tee shirts. The total charged to PCSO in connection with this purchase invoice was $526.47. Gann then created a return of merchandise invoice documenting the return of the 42 shirts, but issued $526.47 in store credit to Hendrix personally. That same day Hendrix purchased two handguns—a Glock Model 43 and a used Glock Model 30—for $553.72, primarily paid for with the store credit.

Hendrix purchased more than 40 firearms in this manner. Hendrix and Gann also admitted in their plea agreements that, throughout the entirety of the scheme, PCSO’s loss amount is between $40,000 and $95,000. The issue of the exact amount of restitution will be determined at sentencing.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 371, carries a statutory penalty of not more than five years’ imprisonment, not more than a $250,000 fine, and not more than three years of supervised release. This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Benecia B. Moore.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated May 17, 2017