Former Lafayette County, Ark. Treasurer Keesha Rose was sentenced to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay back $282,036.97 that she embezzled from county tax payments.
On March 19, 2014, a Federal Grand Jury issued an indictment against Rose charging her with two counts of theft of a program receiving federal funds in excess of at least $5,000.
Facts in the case according to court records are that Keesha Rose was elected as Treasurer and Tax Collector for Lafayette County, Arkansas in November, 2010 and was responsible for collection and administration of all funds collected and disbursed on behalf of Lafayette County. Lafayette County received benefits in excess of $10,000 under a Federal program for the both 2011 and 2012. On May 31, 2013, The Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit reported that a comparison of cash receipts to cash bank deposits revealed that $162,275.00 was not deposited in the county’s bank accounts by Rose for a period of January 1, 2011 through September 20, 2012. The auditors noted numerous issues with accounting processes and record keeping that were consistent with the embezzlement of funds. In addition to the $162,275.00, auditors determined that for the time period between September 20, 2012 and November 7, 2013, an additional $81,618 in public funds was embezzled by Rose, bringing the total to $243,893.00.
“A list of delinquent taxpayers is provided annually by the Tax Collector’s office to the local newspaper for publication in an effort to publicly identify tax scofflaws and encourage them to make payments. However, when Rose provided the list of delinquent taxpayers to the Lafayette County Press, she had removed from the list all taxpayers whose timely payments had been intentionally misapplied to the delinquent account.”
Rose must surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons by April 29 to begin serving her 24 month sentence. Upon release she will undergo 3 years of supervised release and is prohibited from gambling until payment of her court ordered restitution.