Lafayette DA Update – 2/26/13

DWI probe yields another guilty plea in Acadiana

LAFAYETTE — A fifth person pleaded guilty Monday in an ongoing federal probe of bribes paid for favorable treatment in DWI cases.

Sandra Degeyter, 61, a former case manager at Acadiana Outreach Center, admitted to accepting cash to falsify certifications that criminal defendants had completed court-mandated community service at the nonprofit agency, which at the time provided assistance for the homeless and recovering addicts.

Degeyter faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

She provided more than 50 false community service certificates at $100 per certificate, according to information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Another former Acadiana Outreach Center employee, 59-year-old Elaine Crump, pleaded guilty earlier this month to misprision of a felony for her involvement in the scheme. A misprision of a felony charge means a person had knowledge of a crime but did not report it.

The federal probe has also netted guilty pleas from three former employees of the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Degeyter and Crump are accused of providing false documentation that the community service hours had been done at Acadiana Outreach Center.

Degeyter had initially provided the documents to “co-conspirator No. 1” in 2008, according to court filings from prosecutors.

Crump took over the case manager job after Degeyter left. Degeyter asked that she be allowed to forge Crump’s signature to continue producing the false community service certificates on Acadiana Outreach letterhead, according to the court filings.

Crump agreed in return for regular cash payments from Degeyter ranging from $25 to $100, according to prosecutors.

Bribery schemers dropping like flies

Sandra Degeyter admitted in federal court late Monday afternoon to receiving more than $5,000 for her role in the bribery scheme that continues to haunt the 15th Judicial District, making her the fifth guilty plea entered in the case so far.

During Monday’s proceedings, the 61-year-old Degeyter admitted she was paid more than $5,000 by an unnamed co-conspirator — whom U.S. Magistrate Patrick Hanna referred to as a private investigator, and whom The IND has long identified as Robert Williamson, aka Secret Cajun Man.

Degeyter’s relationship with Williamson began in 2008, while she was still employed with Acadiana Outreach Center as a case manager. In Monday’s plea, Degeyter conceded to forging signatures on more than 50 community service documents for OWI and other defendants. Even after her employment with the nonprofit came to an end in 2009, Degeyter continued with the racket of forging community service docs. That, she accomplished through Elaine Crump, another former AOC case worker.

3 Responses to “Lafayette DA Update – 2/26/13”

  1. kbp Says:

    15th Judicial District

    Had the Department of Agriculture been involved, it looks like they’d have just slaughtered and buried the entire herd.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for putting the date on these multiple updates of the same subject. Now we can tell whether we have pulled up the present update and its comments. You may have had the date on them before, and I just never noticed it.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Looking back, Walter, I see you did show the date, and now you are adding a number if there is more than one of the same subject on the same date. You are ahead of me, as always. Keep up the good work.

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