Former DeKalb County Commissioner Charged With Stealing County Funds
ATLANTA – Elaine Boyer, the former Commissioner of District 1 in DeKalb County, Ga., has been arraigned on charges relating to her embezzlement of county funds and misuse of her DeKalb County credit card.
“As an elected County Commissioner, Ms. Boyer had a duty to serve the best interests of the citizens of DeKalb County,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Instead of honoring that commitment, Ms. Boyer stole from the citizens she was sworn to serve by diverting thousands of dollars in county funds to her personal bank account and using her county-issued credit card like it was her own.”
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “Public corruption based investigations often stem from actions that would be seen as clearly improper and illegal to the average person. The charges in this case, however, reflect criminal actions of a twenty-two year veteran DeKalb County Commissioner who knew fully the nature of her actions and she will now face the consequences of those actions. The FBI places a high priority toward investigating allegations of public corruption due to the extensive harm that it can cause on many levels and we ask that anyone with information regarding such allegations to please contact their nearest FBI field office.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: In DeKalb County, Ga., the Board of Commissioners (“BOC”) serves as the legislative branch of the DeKalb County Government. The BOC is comprised of seven part-time commissioners, who are elected to serve four-year terms. Each of the seven Commissioners is responsible for the management of their respective offices, which includes controlling the offices’ budget and hiring staff members, contractors, and consultants. In recent years, the operating budget for a Commissioner’s office has been approximately $250,000 per year. The Commissioners may use their budget only for county-related business.
Since 1992, Ms. Boyer served as the Commissioner of District 1, which serves citizens in north DeKalb County, including in Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Tucker, and Smoke Rise, Ga. Among other responsibilities, Ms. Boyer sat on the BOC’s Finance, Budget, and Audit Committee and was the Chairwoman of the Employee Relations and Community Services Committee. Boyer’s term of office was to expire in 2016; however, Boyer resigned yesterday.
In September 2009, as the Commissioner of District 1, Ms. Boyer retained an individual (“Advisor”) supposedly to assist her with government consulting and advisory duties on issues that affected her constituents. From September 2009 to November 2011, false invoices were submitted to Ms. Boyer’s office for consulting services purportedly rendered by Advisor. In fact, Advisor performed no services for Ms. Boyer, District 1 constituents, or DeKalb County. Ms. Boyer used the false invoices as a basis to authorize payments to Advisor. Based on requisition requests from Ms. Boyer, DeKalb County mailed approximately 35 checks to Advisor for consulting services that were never performed. In total, DeKalb County paid Advisor more than $78,000, believing that legitimate services had been performed for the county.
After being paid by DeKalb County, Advisor funneled approximately 75% of the money received from DeKalb County into Ms. Boyer’s personal bank account. Between September 2009 and November 2011, Advisor deposited more than $58,000 in DeKalb County funds into Ms. Boyer’s personal bank account (while retaining the remainder of the money). In turn, Ms. Boyer used the money deposited into her account to pay personal expenses, including purchases at hotels and high-end department stores.
Additionally, in her capacity as a Commissioner, DeKalb County issued Ms. Boyer a Visa Purchasing Card (“P-Card”) to make county-related purchases. On January 14, 2010, she signed a Cardholder Users’ Agreement stating she would not use the P-Card to make personal purchases.
From October 2010 to February 2014, Ms. Boyer made more than 50 personal purchases on her P-Card, including purchasing airline tickets and hotel rooms for herself and her family for personal travel. In total, she made over $15,000 worth of purchases on her P-Card for personal goods and services.
Elaine Boyer, 57, of Stone Mountain, Ga., was charged via Criminal Information with conspiring to committed mail fraud and with wire fraud. She is scheduled to plead guilty at 3:00 p.m., on September 3, 2014, before U.S. District Court Judge Orinda D. Evans.
Members of the public are reminded that the information only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey W. Davis and Kurt R. Erskine are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.