Wed, Feb 6, 2013
A former Acadiana Outreach Center employee is the fourth person to plead guilty in connection with a bribery scheme involving the District Attorney’s Office in the 15th Judicial District, which includes Lafayette.
Elaine Crump, 59, of Lafayette, pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony for not reporting a bribery scheme, U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced Tuesday.
During her plea, Crump admitted that, while she was a case manager at Acadiana Outreach Center, she was approached in early 2010 by a former case manager who worked at Acadiana Outreach Center from September 2007 until October 2009, Finley said in a news release.
The former case manager admitted to Crump that she had created false community service certificates while she was employed at Acadiana Outreach Center. The certificates were used to confirm that individuals had completed their court-mandated community service when they actually had not.
The former case manager asked Crump to help her continue the fraud in return for money, Crump admitted to the court.
Authorities believe the scheme worked like this: The former case manager continued to prepare the false certificates on official Acadiana Outreach Center letterhead.
In exchange for cash, Crump allowed the former case manager to forge her signature on the certificates, the news release states.
Crump received $25 to $100 cash from the former case manager, who was allegedly being paid by another person who filed the falsified certificates into the court record.
To hide the scheme, the former case manager provided Crump with the names of those for whom the false certificates were prepared and the number of community service hours reflected on the fraudulent certificates. Crump was then able to verify the accuracy of the certificates if questioned by Outreach Center employees or courthouse officials.
After Crump was laid off by Acadiana Outreach Center in September 2011, the former case manager suggested they continue the fraud by backdating the documents to a time when Crump still worked at the nonprofit social services center. Crump agreed, and continued to receive payments, Finley wrote.
Crump has not been sentenced. She faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.