Posted: Mar 19, 2014 10:29 AM by Hunter Robinson, Russell Jones, Rebecca Buchanan
Updated: Mar 19, 2014 6:29 PM
BATON ROUGE - State Police arrested a Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services auditor after an investigation showed he used a state-issued purchase card for personal use.
Delrice Jermaine Augustus, 34, is charged with theft and malfeasance.
The Louisiana Division of Administration alerted LSP after some questionable charges appeared in an audit. They say Augustus used his assisstant's LaCarte Purchasing Card to rack up around $30,000.00 in expenses over a two year span. In a search of Augustus' home, police found items bought with the card, adding up to $7,500. They also collected $18,000 in cash as evidence.
"He was over all of our bureau of audit and compliance services and so I think that's one of the things that's most disappointing in this situation is that he had probably the most knowledge and ability to work around the system or to use unfair influence with others related to those purchases," explained DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier. "We actually have begun an investigation of all DCFS LaCarte cards. We certainly started with the audit unit, but we'll look at all DCFS LaCarte cards as well as when we engage our external and independent auditors. We'll look at what else we need to do even beyond LaCarte cards, if there's anything else that he might have had the opportunity to influence we want to make sure that all of the integrity of the department is protected."
Augustus reportedly admitted to detectives that he had knowingly made and approved the purchases. Some of the items included movies, TV sets, and numerous electronics like iPads and laptops. Investigators said Augustus even purchased a dishwasher and had it delivered to his home.
Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street commented, "It is hard to fathom how an audit director at a large state agency could engage in this sort of blatant theft, but that is exactly what happened here. This case is particularly shocking because of the position of high trust that Mr. Augustus holds at DCFS."