Defendant Sentenced for Participation in Scheme to Defraud Bossier Parish Community College
SHREVEPORT, La. – Audrey Williams, 57, of Shreveport, Louisiana, was sentenced today for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, announced Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook. Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks, Jr. sentenced Williams to 48 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Williams was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $286,987.08.
Williams, along with her co-defendants, Carol Bates, Faith Alexander, and Marquise Perry, all of Shreveport, were indicted on September 25, 2019 and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud.
Williams pleaded guilty on September 23, 2020 and at the hearing admitted that she recruited individuals who were either current or former students of Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) to receive monies from which she knew they were not entitled. Williams’ sister and co-defendant, Carol Bates, was the comptroller at BPCC and had access to a password-protected database which allowed her to make entries into the college’s financial aid system. Once Williams recruited the individuals to receive funds, Bates would access the BPCC system and make a false entry showing that the student was due a refund from the school, which caused a monetary refund to be issued to that student. The individuals who were recruited to receive the funds would then deliver a large portion of the monies to Audrey Williams or Carol Bates. Williams kept the money for herself and spent it on personal expenses.
Carol Bates, 50, the former comptroller for BPCC, was previously sentenced in this case on February 22, 2021 to 60 months (5 years) in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Bates was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $286,987.08.
Marquise Perry, 36, pleaded guilty on December 9, 2019 and was sentenced on December 11, 2020 to 5 years of supervised probation. Perry was also ordered to pay $49,524.65 in restitution.
The sentencing hearing for Faith Alexander is scheduled for March 22, 2021 at 10:00.
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, and the Louisiana Office of State Inspector General, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Reeg prosecuted the case.
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