Douglas Allen Ward, 39, pled guilty today before Judge Daniel Coursey in DeKalb County to three counts of theft by taking. While working as a contract employee with the Georgia Department of Revenue, Ward was placed in charge of ordering phones and managing phone bills. While reviewing phone bills, a division director noticed an unusually high cell phone bill associated with a phone assigned to the Special Investigations Unit. Further investigation revealed that there were three phones that were not assigned to anyone in the unit. All three phones had been ordered by Douglas Ward. An analysis of the phone records showed calls to and from Douglas Ward and the stolen cell phones. Ward eventually admitted that he had sold two of the phones to a man with the street name of "J", and had given one to his sister. The three phones were used for 13 months, resulting in phone bills totaling $5,332.96.
Judge Coursey sentenced Ward to 10 years probation, 360 hours community service, $5,332.96 in restitution, and a $1000 fine. The case was investigated by Special Agent Jim Winn of the Georgia Department of Revenue, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Kim Schwartz.