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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Edcouch Woman Pleads Guilty To Embezzling More Than $90K From Halfway House

McALLEN, Texas – Ofelia Alvarado Vallejo, 44, of Elsa, has admitted to embezzling more than $90,000 from the Mid Valley House Residential Reentry Center when she worked there as an administrative assistant, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Vallejo admitted that from March 2012 through and February 2013, she embezzled more than 600 money orders and vendor checks that belonged to Mid Valley and to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The funds included subsistence payments by Mid Valley residents (typically a quarter of a Mid Valley resident’s income), payments for anger-management classes and vendor checks that were commissions from laundry services. Vallejo was responsible for collecting all of these funds, posting the credit items to Mid Valley financial records and depositing the credit items into Mid Valley’s corporate account at Bank of America. 

Instead, she deposited the money orders and vendors checks into her personal accounts with JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America for her own benefit. She also falsified records to hide her criminal misconduct. For example, she would forge the information on the money orders by replacing the payee information with her name and also falsify Mid Valley’s financial records to conceal the missing funds.

During the one-year period beginning on March 1, 2012, Mid Valley received more than $10,000 in federal funding.

Under the plea agreement, Vallejo has agreed to pay back the funds that she embezzled as restitution.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez has set sentencing for Oct. 22, 2014, at which time she faces up to 10 years in federal prison. She was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

This case was investigated by Department of Justice - Office of Inspector General with the assistance of the Edinburg Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Sully is prosecuting.

Updated April 30, 2015