For 37 years, Shannon held the position of chief financial officer at the Black River Area Development Corporation (BRAD) in Pocahontas, Arkansas. BRAD administers programs to assist low-to-moderate income residents of Clay, Lawrence, and Randolph Counties. Part of Shannon’s job duties included writing checks from various payroll accounts to pay employees and vendors as well as reconciling those accounts.
At the plea hearing held before the Honorable J. Leon Holmes, Shannon admitted that she wrote checks to herself from various checking accounts with the majority of the checks being written from the payroll account. She would then obtain the bank statements after they were received through the mail, disguise the payee on the cancelled check, photocopy the disguised checks, and put the altered checks in BRAD’s records. This activity began on or before December 28, 2001, and continued until May 2012. The total amount of checks embezzled was $390,735.65.
Thyer stated,“Embezzlement by a trusted employee is conduct which cannot be tolerated.” He added,“The stolen funds should have been utilized to assist the poor citizens and communities in the Black River area of our state, not to fraudulently increase an employee’s salary.”
The statutory penalty for embezzlement for mail fraud is not more than 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. Shannon remains free on her own recognizance pending sentencing, which has not yet been set.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen Whatley.
Please tell us why this women is out and about in the town after stealing almost $391,000 in 11 years?
Just what did she do with all that money that she stole from the poor people here in this area?