Former Angola Prison Supervisor Sentenced for Wire Fraud Scheme
BATON ROUGE, LA – Acting United States Attorney Corey R. Amundson announced that Senior U.S. District Judge James J. Brady sentenced SHIRLEY WHITTINGTON, age 46, of St. Francisville, Louisiana, to serve 5 years of probation following her conviction for wire fraud. WHITTINGTON was ordered to make restitution to the Angola Employees Recreation Committee (“AERC”) totaling $115,519.98, and to pay a $100 special assessment. WHITTINGTON was ordered to forfeit an additional $115,519.98 as the proceeds of her criminal activity.
While serving as a Colonel at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, WHITTINGTON also served as Treasurer of the AERC, a limited liability company formed to enrich its members through recreational activities and community events. The AERC raised funds from various sources and its finances were subject to internal audits and review. On February 15, 2017, WHITTINGTON pled guilty to wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. Specifically, WHITTINGTON admitted that while serving as Treasurer of the AERC from 2009 through 2016, she fraudulently diverted organization funds for her own benefit and for the benefit of her associates through online and local retailer purchases, ATM withdrawals, cash back and counter check transactions, and by removing cash from rodeo concession sale deposits. Throughout the course of her scheme, she fraudulently diverted thousands of dollars in AERC funds and concealed her misuse of funds through material misrepresentations in the organization’s accounting log.
Acting U.S. Attorney Amundson stated, “This investigation and prosecution demonstrate a continued commitment to identifying, investigating, and prosecuting individuals who abuse positions of trust to line their own pockets, regardless of rank or official status. Public corruption and white collar crime remain top priorities for this office. This defendant has now been removed from her position of public trust and, through today’s sentence, will be responsible for repaying the victim that she defrauded over many years. I sincerely appreciate the dedicated work of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office, the FBI, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, and the other state and local partners who committed their resources to addressing this fraudulent scheme.”
Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera stated, “The Legislative Auditor’s Office will continue working with our federal, state and local partners to identify and investigate public servants who violate the public trust. Our state is fortunate to have many good public servants. I hope those few who decide to violate the public trust realize that we will do everything we can to see that they are held accountable.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Sallet stated, “The taxpayers of Louisiana deserve that their public officials serve them with respect and honesty. In partnership with its law enforcement partners, the New Orleans Division of the FBI will continue to aggressively pursue any public official who chooses to abuse the public’s trust and illegally use their position for personal gain.”
The matter is being handled by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the Baton Rouge Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with substantial assistance provided by investigative auditors from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Chris Dippel, who serves as a Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.