Clerk charged with felony theft

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 22, 2016

Folse Photo courtesy of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Department.

Photo courtesy of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Department.

Tuesday, 38-year-old Crystal Folse of 792 Caesar Road Lot B, Picayune, was charged after admitting to stealing $4,000 to $4,500 worth of utility payments during her employment as clerk for the town of Pearl River, Louisiana.
According to a release from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, in September 2015, Pearl River Mayor David McQueen contacted the sheriff’s office after his discovery of a discrepancy between the amounts recorded to customers’ utility accounts and the amounts deposited into the town’s bank account.
The sheriff’s office contacted the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office and an investigative audit was conducted into the town’s finances between Jan. 1, 2014 and Aug. 31, 2015, the release states.
According to the release, Folse was terminated from her position as clerk for the town of Pearl River on Sept. 16, 2015.
On Jan. 6, the findings of the Louisiana’s Legislative Auditor Office’s audit were released.
According to that audit, from Jan. 1 2014 to Aug. 31, 2015, utility payments and credits totaling $740,615 were recorded to customer accounts and, for that same period, the town’s bank records reflect $713,885 was deposited, which is a difference of $26,730.
This amount included $17,218 in payments recorded in the town’s utility system that weren’t deposited. There were 306 credits totaling $9,512 recorded in the utility system with no supporting documentation, the audit states.
According to the audit, Folse said she took cash from the town’s utility receipts for her personal use and, on occasion, recorded the amounts she took as credits in the utility system.
The auditors concluded that Folse may have violated state law when she took cash from utility collections and improperly recorded credits to the utility system to conceal amounts collected but not deposited, the audit states.
The audit recommended the town consult with legal counsel to determine the proper action.
On Jan. 14, a warrant was issued for Folse’s arrest, the release states.
According to the release, Folse turned herself in to the St. Tammy Parish Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Complex on Tuesday and was charged with felony theft between $750-$5,000. She was released Wednesday on a $7,500 bond, the release states.

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