SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) — A former BPCC comptroller faces up to 20 years in prison.
Appearing before a federal judge in Shreveport, 49-year-old Carol Bates pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the U.S. attorney’s office reports.
As a result, she also could be fined $250,000 and ordered to serve up to a year on federal supervised release once she gets out of prison.
Bates was accused of generating 45 fraudulent refunds totaling $259,591.87 from 2013-16.
Federal prosecutors say she used her position to access an internal computer database and make false entries showing people were due refunds from Bossier Parish Community College.
Bates and her 56-year-old sister, Audrey Williams, recruited 28-year-old Faith Alexander, 35-year-old Marquise Perry and seven other people to receive the fraudulent refunds.
Those nine were not qualified to receive the refunds and, in most cases, were not attending the Bossier City college at the time they received the money.
As part of the scheme, the recipients were instructed to deliver half to two-thirds of the refund money to Bates or Williams.
The U.S. attorney’s office reports that:
- Alexander received eight refunds totaling $45,482.65 from 2014-16.
- Perry received seven refunds totaling $49,524.65 from 2015-16.
- The remaining 30 refunds were issued to seven other people wwho, after receiving the money, also transferred half to two-thirds of the refund to Bates.
On Sept. 25, each of the four Shreveport residents — Bates, Alexander, Perry and Williams — was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Bates also was charged with 12 counts of wire fraud. And Perry was charged with three counts of wire fraud.
- Williams pleaded not guilty Oct. 23;
- Perry pleaded guilty Dec. 9 to one count of wire fraud; and,
- Alexander pleaded guilty Feb. 19 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.