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ATTORNEY GENERAL THURBERT BAKER ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF FORMER GEORGIA BUILDING AUTHORITY EMPLOYEES

PRESS ADVISORY

ATTORNEY GENERAL THURBERT BAKER ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF FORMER GEORGIA BUILDING AUTHORITY EMPLOYEES

February 2, 2000

Attorney General Thurbert Baker announced that true bills of indictment were returned yesterday evening against former Georgia Building Authority (GBA) employees Dianne S. Carter and John E. Burkett. William Elco Carter, Dianne S. Carter’s husband, was also indicted.

“When I have reason to believe that state employees have used their positions of trust to defraud the state, my office will thoroughly investigate and vigorously prosecute such cases,” Baker said. “We cannot allow these serious allegations to go unprosecuted,” he continued.

The Carter indictments and civil RICO complaint

Dianne S. Carter and William Elco Carter are charged in an eight count Fulton County indictment with theft by taking, theft by receiving, income tax evasion, conspiracy to defraud the state and racketeering. Dianne S. Carter is also charged with computer theft. The charges arise from the allegation that the Carters devised and implemented a scheme to steal approximately $1 million from the GBA’s cafeteria operation from 1995 to 1998.

On December 20, 1999, Dianne S. Carter and William Elco Carter, along with their adult children William Douglas Carter and Melissa L. Carter, were indicted in Jackson County on four counts of money laundering and illegally structuring cash payments. The indictment was sealed by the court until yesterday. The indictment alleges that the Carters used money stolen from the GBA to purchase real estate, construct a residence and purchase a vehicle in the names of William Douglas Carter and Melissa L. Carter in order to conceal the origin of the funds.

Baker also filed a civil racketeering complaint yesterday in Jackson County Superior Court, seeking to recover a portion of the approximately $1 million that was allegedly stolen. RICO lien notices against the Carters were filed in the Superior Court in Jackson County. The court has issued writs of seizure on certain property belonging to the Carters that may be subject to forfeiture.

The Burkett indictment

John E. Burkett was indicted in Fulton County yesterday for allegedly stealing approximately $90,000 from the GBA from 1997 to 1998. As a GBA employee, Burkett had been responsible for collecting and accounting for money brought in daily from parking lots operated by GBA. The indictment charges him with one count of theft by taking and nine counts of false statements and writings.