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Former Fiscal Officer for Council on Development Disabilities Pleads Guilty To Theft and Forgery Charges

PRESS ADVISORY

Former Fiscal Officer for Council on Development Disabilities Pleads Guilty To Theft and Forgery Charges

January 24, 2011

Lisa Montford, the former Fiscal Officer of the Governor’s Council on Development Disabilities, pled guilty today to one count of felony theft by taking, one count of False Statements and Writings, and one count of First Degree Forgery.  Montford was sentenced by Judge Kimberly Adams in Fulton County Superior Court under the Georgia First Offender Act to twenty years probation, 200 hours of community service and full restitution to the state for her role in the theft of $61,035.76 from the Council.

Montford, while employed as the Fiscal Officer at the Council from October 2007 to November 2008, submitted nine requests for payments to a Mr. Gregory Lewis for work allegedly performed on behalf of the council.  Invoices detailing the work allegedly performed on behalf of the Council were attached to the payment requests.  Montford further directed that payment on the invoices, rather than being mailed to Lewis, would be picked up by Montford.  Bank records confirmed that the checks issued for the work were in fact deposited.

During a subsequent audit of the Council, it was discovered that Lewis had never performed work for the Council.  It was also discovered that Lewis was in fact Montford’s husband.  During the investigation, Lewis denied all knowledge of the scam, and indicated that the invoices and endorsement signatures on the checks were, in fact, forgeries.  While the audit was ongoing, the auditors asked Montford for supporting documentation of a contract between the Council and Lewis.  Montford presented a contract to the auditors which had never been approved by the Council’s contract department; further, the signatures on the contract were forged.  The state’s investigation of Montford also determined that she had falsified five travel expense statements and forged the approval signatures on those statements.

The criminal investigation of Montford was overseen by Agent Wesley Horne of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and Assistant Attorney General Laura Dyes prosecuted Montford on behalf of the State of Georgia.