Former ETX investigator pleads guilty to theft of federal funds
POSTED: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 1:37pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 6:52pm
Nacogdoches, TX (KETK) — A former senior investigator with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to theft of federal funds in East Texas.
According to U.S. Attorney John M. Bales, on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, Melva Darlene Blakemore, 62, of Diboll, pleaded guilty to theft of federal funds before U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Crone.
Blakemore, while employed by the THHSC, told an individual they had been overpaid $2,520 on their Lone Star Card. She informed the cardholder that if she did not repay the money, she would be indicted and prosecuted. Blakemore also told the woman if the money was paid in cash, with no receipt expected, Blakemore would send the money to someone she knew in Austin and no charges would be filed.
The woman contacted local authorities who were able to observe the meeting with Blakemore in a Nacogdoches parking lot. Blakemore left the lot and drove away with the money before stopping to deposit a portion of it into her bank account. The remainder of the money was found in her car.
A sentencing date has not been set, however, Blakemore faces up to 10 years in federal prison and restitution of up to $31,008.