Catholic Diocese secretary arrested in thefts

A former secretary for the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge with a history of siphoning money from an employer was arrested early Tuesday after an audit alleged she used a diocesan credit card to buy several prepaid debit cards to pay her bills and make other purchases.

The audit says Alice W. Faucheux, 57, the secretary to the superintendent of Catholic Schools, made the unauthorized purchases totaling more than $41,000 during a three-year period beginning in 2011 to June 2014, Baton Rouge police Cpl. Don Coppola said Tuesday.

Faucheux, 9423 La. 955, Ethel, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison shortly before noon Tuesday on counts of felony theft and unauthorized use of an access device card.

As secretary to the superintendent, Faucheux had permission to use the Office Depot credit card to buy office supplies, but the Diocese’s chief financial officer told police Faucheux did not have authority to buy the prepaid debit cards, the affidavit of probable cause for Tuesday’s arrest says.

Faucheux used the credit card to buy Visa Vanilla prepaid debit cards from Office Depot locations on College Drive and Florida Boulevard in Baton Rouge as well as Main Street in Zachary, police said.

After purchasing the prepaid debit cards, she would use them to pay her bills, including a veterinary bill for her cat at the East Feliciana Animal Clinic in Ethel, her DirecTV bill and her Verizon bill, Coppola and the affidavit said.

She also used the cards at a CVS pharmacy in Baton Rouge, a Dollar General in Slaughter and a Winn Dixie supermarket in Zachary, the affidavit says. Investigators reviewed surveillance footage from all the businesses and noted they saw a woman matching Faucheux’s description on the time and date of the purchases.

The affidavit noted that since Faucheux’s employment was terminated, the fraudulent purchases have stopped.

In addition to the Tuesday arrest, Faucheux also was arrested in 2000 after a former employer, GoGo Worldwide Vacations in Baton Rouge, found that more than $25,000 in missing funds had been deposited into Faucheux’s bank account, according to the arrest warrant for the previous arrest. The company had been looking into $50,000 that was missing when it found the money that had been deposited into Faucheux’s account.

In March 2002, ad hoc state District Judge Jerome Winsberg sentenced Faucheux to five years hard labor, but suspended the sentence and placed her on probation with the stipulation that she repay the money.

Court records show the probation was terminated in June 2006.

Donna Carville, spokeswoman for the diocese, said the diocese would not comment on Tuesday’s arrest other than to say that Faucheux’s employment has been terminated. Carville did not know how long Faucheux worked for the diocese.

The diocese runs background checks on all potential employees, Carville said, however she was unsure if Faucheux’s background check picked up the previous arrest.

“Going forward, I think we will definitely see some improvement in our hiring process,” Carville said.

Faucheux served as secretary under both former Superintendent Sister Mary Michaeline Green and current Superintendent Melanie Verges. Green said she and Faucheux had a good working relationship during their time working together.

“It’s a very sad situation,” Green said when reached by phone Tuesday. “I will keep her in prayer.”