A federal grand jury has indicted three people, including the Bossier Parish Community College comptroller, for stealing more than a quarter of a million dollars from BPCC.
Carol Bates, 48, Faith Alexander, 27, and Marquise Perry, 34, all of Shreveport, were indicted Wednesday, charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
In addition to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Bates was charged with 12 counts of wire fraud and Perry was charged with three counts of wire fraud.
According to the indictment, as the BPCC comptroller, Bates used her position to access an internal BPCC computer system and issue approximately $259,591.87 in refunds to Alexander, Perry and five others from 2013 to 2016.
They recipients were not qualified to receive the funds, and, in most cases, they were not even attending BPCC during the semesters they received the money.
In total, Bates caused 45 fraudulent refunds to be issued, the indictment says.
Perry received seven refunds totaling $49,524.65 from 2015 through 2016 and Alexander received eight refunds totaling $45,482.65 from 2014 through 2016.
The remaining 30 refunds were issued to five unnamed co-conspirators who, after receiving the money, transferred two-thirds or a half of it to Bates.
If convicted, the defendants face 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a $250,000 fine for each count.
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, and the Louisiana Office of State Inspector General conducted the investigation.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.