Second state auditor accused of stealing agency funds

1st state official has pleaded guilty

Federal prosecutors accused a second state auditor Friday of stealing money from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.

A bill of information charging Kaneasha L. Goston, 38, of Baton Rouge, with theft from a federally funded entity came just two days after DCFS’s former auditing director pleaded guilty in federal court to an identical theft charge.

Delrice Jermaine Augustus, 34, also of Baton Rouge, admitted Wednesday he stole between $120,000 and $200,000 from DCFS since 2010 by using an assistant’s state-issued credit card to buy personal items. He also admitted misusing a state travel card to pay for hotel suites in New Orleans for Mardi Gras and the NBA All-Star Game.

Augustus, who had been audit director from July 2009 until his resignation from DCFS on May 23, also acknowledged creating and using fraudulent documents to request and receive reimbursement from the state for official travel that did not occur.

Augustus, according to his written plea agreement, created fraudulent documents reflecting that two DCFS employees — identified in the plea agreement only by the initials C.P. and K.G. — had incurred expenses related to official travel.

K.G. is Kaneasha Goston.

“C.P. and K.G. would sign the fraudulent reimbursement requests as the requesting employees, and Augustus would sign as the approving supervisor. The state would pay the requested amount to C.P. and K.G., who would split the proceeds with Augustus,” his plea agreement states.

U.S. Attorney Walt Green said in a prepared statement that the federal and state probe is ongoing, and that DCFS leadership has fully cooperated with the investigation and provided valuable assistance.

Goston’s attorney, Lynn Legier, declined comment Friday.

Goston faces up to 10 years in prison as well as possible fines and forfeiture, if convicted.

Augustus, who faces the same penalties, does not yet have a sentencing date.

State Police detectives arrested Augustus in March after he admitted using his assistant’s department credit card to buy iPhone and iPad digital devices, DVDs, flat-screen TVs, MacBook computers and an automatic dishwasher he had delivered to his home.

He was booked March 19 into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on 38 counts of malfeasance in office, 38 counts of illegal possession of stolen things and one count of felony theft.

Detectives do not consider Augustus’ assistant a suspect.