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Press Release

Livestock show secretary admits to nearly $200,000 embezzlement scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 67-year-old Sandia resident has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud as part of a scheme to defraud the Nueces County Junior Livestock Show (NCJLS), announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Sara Rene Chapman worked for NCJLS as a secretary from 2010 until 2023. As part of her plea, she admitted that from approximately 2018 to 2023, she used NCJLS bank accounts to pay her own personal credit card bills through the use of wire transfers. The scheme resulted in a loss of approximately $172,069.17.

As part of her job, Chapman had access to the NCJLS bank accounts and was responsible for paying authorized NCJLS expenses. In 2018, Chapman began using the bank accounts to pay her monthly credit card bill and continued for over four years.   

U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos has set sentencing for July 23. At that time, Chapman faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine as well as full restitution to the NCJLS.

Chapman was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.

FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Martin is prosecuting the case.

Updated April 25, 2024

Financial Fraud