Margaurette Beard, the former Rapides Parish District Attorney employee already facing state charges for theft, has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
The indictment was handed down last week and charges Beard with two counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds. Beard, of Elmer, was employed as a bookkeeper from October 1988 to October 2015, when she resigned.
Beard’s attorney, George Higgins III, said he learned on Monday morning about the indictment.
“Due to the fact that a copy of the indictment has not been made available to the defense by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, our response can only be limited at this point,” he told The Town Talk in a written statement. “As such, I can only speculate that the allegations contained in the indictment are similar to what has already been alleged by the Louisiana Attorney General’s office.
“Each and every citizen of our great country is presumed innocent when criminally charged by the government. As always, we look forward to Mrs. Beard’s day in court.”
As bookkeeper, Beard handled funds from the IV-D Fund, which is comprised of federal grant monies received from the Child Support Enforcement and Paternity Establishment Program, the general fund, bond forfeiture fund and Special Asset Forfeiture (SAF) Fund.
The two counts point to specific examples of alleged attempts by Beard to cover up thefts by shifting money between funds.
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The first count of the indictment alleges that Beard “failed to deposit approximately…
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