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Former Executive Director of Children’s Advocacy Center of Tom Green County, Inc. Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

U.S. Attorney’s Office January 26, 2012
  • Northern District of Texas (214) 659-8600

LUBBOCK, TX—Debra Rucker Brown, the former executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Tom Green County, Inc., pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to one count of theft concerning a federally funded program, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Brown faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, restitution could be ordered. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of that report.

Brown, 51, served as the CAC’s executive director for more than 16 years—from August 1994 through February 2011. The CAC is a non-profit program that operates Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); Hope House; Family Enrichment Services (FES); and the Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT). CAC’s funding comes mostly from grants and contracts for services, with the balance coming from charitable contributions and money raised through special events it hosts. A significant source of the grant funding is provided by the U.S. government through Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services.

According to documents filed in the case, Brown admitted that from January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2008, she knowingly embezzled or stole from the CAC by submitting and processing several fictitious reimbursement forms seeking reimbursement for items purportedly purchased for the CAC, or one of its programs, and for purported expenses incurred, including travel by her and others for CAC business. Using these fictitious reimbursement forms, Brown then caused CAC checks to be fraudulently issued payable to her or for her benefit. She also caused CAC checks to be issued payable to her without providing any supporting documentation. She tendered the signed fraudulent checks at her bank for deposit to her personal checking account or for cash, or submitted them as payment on her personal credit card accounts.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Texas Rangers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann C. Roberts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lubbock is in charge of the prosecution.

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