Caddo Parish Commissioner Michael Williams found guilty of stealing from nonprofit
SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a federal grand jury indicted Caddo Parish Commissioner Michael Dwayne Williams for defrauding the Caddo Parish Commission and stealing from a nonprofit meant to help at-risk youth.
Williams, 54, of Shreveport, was indicted on 12 counts of wire fraud. The indictment alleges that from October 1, 2012 through July 1, 2014, Williams devised a scheme to take more than $2,000 from a nonprofit’s bank account. Williams urged the parish commission to appropriate public funds for the nonprofit SWAG Nation. Once those funds were allocated from the parish’s budget to SWAG Nation, Williams caused a bank debit card to be issued for the nonprofit. Between April of 2013 and July of 2014, Williams used an ATM card to remove money on numerous occasions. According to the indictment, he took $100 to $200 each time that he made a withdrawal initializing 12 transactions from August 2013 to June 2014 for personal use. SWAG Nation’s declared purpose is to partner with local institutions to help mentor and counsel at-risk individuals ages 7 to 17 so that they can better function in society.
“The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated Michael Williams for several months and is pleased with the return of this indictment,” said Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator. “Unfortunately, there are people elected to office who will abuse the public’s trust. This money was meant for children, not politicians.”
Williams faces up to 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for each count.
The FBI and Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph G. Jarzabek and Brandon B. Brown are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.