Ex-Dallas ISD Employee Charged With Stealing $162K in Worker's Comp Funds

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If, like us, you've been worried that discussions on substantive policy issues like home-rule and merit pay have distracted from Dallas ISD's long and storied history of stupid penny-ante graft, then you're in luck. Federal prosecutors have just brought charges against a former DISD employee who allegedly stole $162,000 through fake worker's compensation checks.

Maricella Reed was employed by the district's risk management department for seven years, from 2004 to 2011. One of her primary duties there was to keep the list of employees owed worker's compensation. Twice a week, before checks were issued, she would print a list of recipients to be approved by her supervisor. Then, she would send the list to accounts payable, which cut the checks.

The key flaw in this process was that no one was checking to make sure that the lists Reed sent to accounts payable were the same ones had been approved by her supervisor. During the last two years of her employment, they weren't, according to a federal indictment filed Tuesday.

On at least 121 separate occasions between May 2009 and May 2011 (checks were cut twice a week) Reed allegedly deleted the name and address of an actual worker's compensation beneficiary and replaced it with that of her co-conspirator, Adrian Bevelle.

Bevelle, who is not and has never been a DISD employee (his LinkedIn profile lists his profession as "hitman" at "getemgone") would then retrieve these checks and cash them, usually at PLS Check Cashers of Texas.

It's not clear from the indictment how Reed and Bevelle were ultimately caught, just that they're both charged with conspiring to commit mail fraud.


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11 comments
richard511
richard511

And DISD seems to think they don't have a credibility issue. Internal controls were apparently lacking. Tokenism certainly isn't!

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

I clicked on Bevelle's linkd profile, and it also says "banking" on his profile. He's going to have to change that to "license plate maker" soon.

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

Does this level of ambition and creativity exist within the legal and educationally beneficial elements of the district? 

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Cements the definition of 'stuporvisor' at DISD.

James080
James080

Too bad Maricella left DISD in 2011. She could have ridden the "paid administrative leave" gravy train for several years before all of her appeals ran out.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

In risk management? Looks like she did a damn good job managing a big risk for the last seven years, does this mean a promotion?

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Sadly, the is the most innovative scheme anyone in DISD administration has come up with in years.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@bvckvs  

Go and look at any DISD external audit.  They all have one consistent theme and that is a lack of financial controls.  Remember P-Card?

In this instance, it is the supervisor who should have sent the list to payroll, not the clerk.

At work, I have an expense account.  I fill it out for various reimbursements.  I send it to my manager.  He sends it to AP, not me.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@James080

Poor financial planning, poor risk management. Should have socked the 160k away in Costa Rica, maybe Belize, moved in 2011, would have bought her top-tier citizenship, free medical, and a small hut.

But I think they both have extradition obligations to America, probably because of all the a Texans who go there. :)

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

Brazil would be a wiser move. But $160k doesn't get you much in either Costa Rica or Brazil these days.

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