Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Former Jackson County Treasurer Sentenced to Prison for Identity Theft and Wire Fraud Scheme
LONDON, Ky.—The former treasurer of Jackson County, Kentucky, was sentenced today to45 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $161,808.23 in restitution for devising a multi-year scheme to defraud the Jackson County Fiscal Court of over $160,000 and for misusing the identity of a Jackson County employee to facilitate her theft.
Beth N. Sallee, 39, of McKee, Kentucky, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky by U.S. District Judge Claria Horn Boom. Sallee pleaded guilty on Feb. 4, 2019, to one count of wire fraud and to one count of aggravated identity theft. As part of her plea, Sallee admitted that beginning in 2013, she misused her position to write a number of checks, totaling approximately $161,808.23, payable to herself without the approval of the Jackson County Fiscal Court. Sallee deposited these checks into her own personal checking account or for cash. The unauthorized checks drew on various Jackson County Fiscal Court accounts, including the Department of Emergency Services grant, payroll, and general fund accounts.
According to the plea agreement, in order to enable her scheme, Sallee forged the signature of other Jackson County employees on unauthorized checks without their knowledge or permission. She later attempted to conceal her scheme by removing pages of Jackson County financial documents, obscuring page numbers with white-out, and requesting the removal of check images from bank statements that were to be given to an auditor.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr., for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr. of the FBI’s Louisville, Kentucky Field Division and Richard W. Sanders, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police, made the announcement.
“This case presents another example of a selfish and corrupt official, who stole taxpayer money and spent it on herself,” said United States Attorney Duncan. “Disgraceful conduct like this erodes the public’s faith in government institutions and causes lasting damage. Combatting these betrayals of trust is critical, both to holding people accountable and to repairing the public’s faith. Prosecuting public corruption will remain a fundamental priority for our Office.”
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Kentucky State Police. Trial Attorney Jessica C. Harvey of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew T. Boone of the Eastern District of Kentucky prosecuted the case.