DFCS employee arrested on theft and malfeasance charges - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

DFCS employee arrested on theft and malfeasance charges

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE 8 News) – On March 19, 2014, Louisiana State Police Detectives arrested 34 year old Delrice J. Augustus of Baton Rouge (a Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services employee) on various counts of theft, possession of stolen goods and malfeasance in office.

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) notified State Police Detectives and the State Inspector General's Office that during an audit they discovered what appeared to be several fraudulent purchases made on a LaCarte purchasing card. DCFS took immediate action to initiate a review, and their findings led them to Augustus. After being interviewed by State Police Detectives, Augustus stated that he made fraudulent purchases using his assistant's assigned LaCarte card. Augustus informed Detectives that he purchased numerous items of merchandise with the LaCarte card for his personal use and was aware that these acts were illegal. Some of the items that Augustus purchased fraudulently included DVD movies, flat screen TVs, iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, and a dishwasher.

A search of Augustus' residence in Baton Rouge revealed numerous items that were listed on the LaCarte card transactions and valued at approximately $7,500. Approximately $18,000 in cash was also collected as evidence during the search. Augustus was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for violating LRS 14:67 - Felony theft in access of $500, LRS 14:69 - Illegal possession of stolen things (38 counts) and LRS 14:134 - Malfeasance in office (38 counts). This investigation is ongoing and additional charges on Augustus are expected.

Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Suzy Sonnier stated, "I am shocked and saddened that a senior employee with DCFS would violate my trust, but more importantly the public trust through his alleged criminal actions."

Louisiana State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson said, "As soon as Secretary Sonnier contacted me I dispatched Detectives to DCFS to investigate the alleged criminal misconduct. I am thankful to her staff as well as the Investigators with the Office of the Inspector General for their support and cooperation throughout the investigation. It is incumbent upon all of us to work together in maintaining public trust and the integrity of our departments."

Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street commented, "It is hard to fathom how an audit director at a large state agency could engage in this sort of blatant theft, but that is exactly what happened here. This case is particularly shocking because of the position of high trust that Mr. Augustus holds at DCFS. We will continue to work with State Police and other partners in law enforcement to relentlessly pursue those who abuse the public trust and hold them criminally accountable wherever possible." Inspector General Street also added "I want to acknowledge and thank Colonel Edmonson and State Police for their excellent work on this case."

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