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KENTUCKY – The former treasurer of Jackson County, Kentucky, was sentenced yesterday to 45 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
U.S. District Judge Claria Horn Boom sentenced Beth N. Sallee, 39, of McKee, Kentucky, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Sallee was also ordered to pay $161,808.23 in restitution for devising a multi-year scheme to defraud the Jackson County Fiscal Court of over $160,000 and for misusing the identity of a Jackson County employee to facilitate her theft.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan of the Eastern District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown Jr. of the FBI’s Louisville Field Division and Richard Sanders, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police, made the announcement.
Sallee pleaded guilty on Feb. 4, 2019, to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. As part of her plea, Sallee admitted that beginning in 2013, she misused her position to write a number of checks, totaling approximately $161,808.23, payable to herself without the approval of the Jackson County Fiscal Court. Sallee proceeded to either deposit these checks into her personal checking account or exchange these checks for cash.The unauthorized checks drew on various Jackson County Fiscal Court accounts, including the Department of Emergency Services grant, payroll and general fund accounts.
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To enable her scheme, Sallee forged the signature of other Jackson County employees on unauthorized checks without their knowledge or permission. She later attempted to conceal her scheme by removing pages of Jackson County financial documents, obscuring page numbers with Wite-Out and requesting the deletion of check images from bank statements that were to be given to an auditor.
The FBI and the Kentucky State Police conducted the investigation. Trial Attorney Jessica C. Harvey of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew T. Boone of the Eastern District of Kentucky prosecuted the case.