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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Former Wayne County School System Employee Charged With Federal Program Fraud Totaling $135,000

Nashville, Tenn. – August 13, 2014 – Kayla Luna, 47, of Waynesboro, Tennessee, was charged by a criminal information filed yesterday, with federal program fraud, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

According to the information, between July 2008 and continuing until January 2013, Luna, who was an agent of the Wayne County School System, embezzled, stole, and obtained by fraud, goods that belonged to the Wayne County School System.  Specifically, Luna is charged with converting goods and gift cards purchased at Wal-Mart stores, totaling approximately $135,000, to the use of someone other than the school system.

U.S. Attorney David Rivera stated, “This case is yet another example of cooperation between federal and state law enforcement agencies to pursue fraud allegations and prosecute an individual responsible for helping herself to funding that was intended for Wayne County schools and students.”

 “This case illustrates how state and federal law enforcement agencies can utilize their resources to bring to justice the most egregious criminal activity, including corrupt practices undertaken by those in a position of public trust” said A. Todd McCall, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Memphis Division.

 "This case exemplifies the hard work exhibited by the Internal Revenue Service- Criminal Investigation and our law enforcement partners as we leveraged our cooperative resources to dismantle public corruption in Wayne County", said Christopher A. Henry, Special Agent in Charge for IRS- Criminal Investigation's Nashville Field Office. "The victims in this case are the young minds that one day will be the future leaders of this great country and their needs and educational opportunities will not be dashed by corrupt public officials.  IRS Special Agents will vigorously pursue all aspects of criminal financial fraud."

If convicted, Luna faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, as well as forfeiture of $135,000.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the State of Tennessee-Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury.  Assistant United States Attorney Scarlett S. Nokes is representing the United States.

Charges brought by an information are merely accusations and are not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 19, 2015