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Former DeKalb commissioner Boyer charged with stealing county funds
by Staff Reports
August 28, 2014 10:15 AM | 1381 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Elaine Boyer, the former commissioner of District 1 in DeKalb County, has been arraigned on charges relating to her embezzlement of county funds and misuse of her county credit card.

“As an elected county commissioner, Ms. Boyer had a duty to serve the best interests of the citizens of DeKalb County,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Instead of honoring that commitment, Ms. Boyer stole from the citizens she was sworn to serve by diverting thousands of dollars in county funds to her personal bank account and using her county-issued credit card like it was her own.”

J. Britt Johnson, special agent in charge, FBI Atlanta field office, said, “Public corruption based investigations often stem from actions that would be seen as clearly improper and illegal to the average person. The charges in this case, however, reflect criminal actions of a 22-year veteran DeKalb County commissioner who knew fully the nature of her actions and she will now face the consequences of those actions. The FBI places a high priority toward investigating allegations of public corruption due to the extensive harm that it can cause on many levels and we ask that anyone with information regarding such allegations to please contact their nearest FBI field office.”

According to Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: In DeKalb, the board of commissioners serves as the legislative branch of the county government. The board is comprised of seven part-time commissioners, who are elected to serve four-year terms. Each of the seven commissioners is responsible for the management of their respective offices, which includes controlling the offices’ budget and hiring staff members, contractors and consultants. In recent years, the operating budget for a commissioner’s office has been about $250,000 per year. The commissioners may use their budget only for county-related business.

Since 1992, Boyer served as the commissioner of District 1, which serves citizens in north DeKalb, including in Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Tucker and Smoke Rise. Among other responsibilities, Boyer sat on the board’s finance, budget and audit committee and was the chair of the employee relations and community services committee. Boyer’s term of office was to expire in 2016 — however, Boyer resigned Aug. 25.

In September 2009, as the commissioner of District 1, Boyer retained an individual [“advisor”] supposedly to assist her with government consulting and advisory duties on issues that affected her constituents. From September 2009 to November 2011, false invoices were submitted to Boyer’s office for consulting services purportedly rendered by the advisor. In fact, the advisor performed no services for Boyer, District 1 constituents or the county. Boyer used the false invoices as a basis to authorize payments to the advisor. Based on requisition requests from Boyer, the county mailed about 35 checks to the advisor for consulting services that were never performed. In total, the county paid the advisor more than $78,000, believing that legitimate services had been performed for the county.

After being paid by the county, the advisor funneled about 75 percent of the money received from the county into Boyer’s personal bank account. Between September 2009 and November 2011, the advisor deposited more than $58,000 in county funds into Boyer’s personal bank account [while retaining the remainder of the money]. In turn, Boyer used the money deposited into her account to pay personal expenses, including purchases at hotels and high-end department stores.

Additionally, in her capacity as a commissioner, the county issued Boyer a Visa purchasing card or P-Card, to make county-related purchases. On Jan. 14, 2010, she signed a cardholder users’ agreement stating she would not use the P-Card to make personal purchases.

From October 2010 to February 2014, Boyer made more than 50 personal purchases on her P-Card, including purchasing airline tickets and hotel rooms for herself and her family for personal travel. In total, she made more than $15,000 worth of purchases on her P-Card for personal goods and services.

Boyer, 57, of Stone Mountain, was charged via criminal information with conspiring to commit mail fraud and with wire fraud. She is scheduled to plead guilty at 3 p.m., Sept. 3, before U.S. District Court Judge Orinda D. Evans.

Members of the public are reminded that the information only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey W. Davis and Kurt R. Erskine are prosecuting the case.

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