U.S. Attorney: Third DCFS auditor accused in fraud case

Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a third auditor in the state Department of Children & Family Services with diverting federal funds for a wide array of personal items and leisure expenses.

Corey S. Polk, 33, of Baton Rouge, could receive up to 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and restitution, and also have to return whatever gains he acquired through the alleged fraud while he served as a managing auditor for the agency, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana said in a news release.

A date has yet to be set for Polk’s initial court appearance and arraignment.

Polk and his supervisor, Delrice Augustus, allegedly used agency credit cards to pay for hotel rooms during Mardi Gras and NBA All-Star Weekend. Polk would file requests for reimbursement for the items that Augustus would then approve, prosecutors said. The two would then split the amount that the state reimbursed.

As an auditor, Polk was tasked with handling accusations of fraud and theft by other employees within the Department of Children & Family Services.

Prosecutors said the fraudulent purchases totaled $150,035.83.

Augustus, who was the director of the Bureau of Auditing and Compliance Services, pleaded guilty on May 28 to federal program fraud.

Prosecutors say Augustus’ purchases include an installed dishwasher, movies, televisions, mobile devices, cameras, gaming devices, wireless audio systems and vacuums, a federal prosecutor told a judge in court.

A third former auditor in the department, Kaneasha Goston, has already been charged with program fraud. Her initial court appearance and arraignment is scheduled for June 19.

The Department of Children & Family Services receives more than $1 billion in federal funds every year.