Twelve more people have been arraigned in federal court in connection with the Department of Social Services embezzlement scheme that cost the department more then $5.2 million. Six co-defendants pleaded guilty in April.
D.S.S. Finance Director Paul Timothy Moore was indicted in February for allegedly authorizing the issuance of hundreds of checks, beginning in May 2004.
U.S. Attorney Walt Wilkins says the defendants cashed checks from the former director. “This case rose out of an investigation where a confidential informant came to us that Paul Moore was obtaining DSS checks and giving them to individuals who would go out and cash the checks and split the proceeds with Mr. Moore.”
Wilkins says through co-defendant Jonathan Moses, whom Moore met in a nightclub, Moore requested checks made out to the check cashers who they recruited. The cashers were given between $300 and $1500 per check as a cut.
Wilkins says the investigation continues. “We are looking for anyone involved in this case who may have cashed a check or recruited someone to cash a check, and our intent is to locate anyone we can who knew that the money was unlawful proceeds.”
Moore has admitted distributing a few hundred checks over four years, for a total of $1.3 million, but prosecutors say an audit showed $5.5 million missing. Moore’s attorney says he plans to plead guilty as soon as he can reach agreement with prosecutors on the amount of money he took.