Texarkana, Arkansas | Keesha Rose, age 37, pleaded guilty today to Theft Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds, announced Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. Rose serves as the County Treasurer and Tax Collector for Lafayette County. The Honorable Harry F. Barnes accepted the plea in the United States District Court in Texarkana.
U. S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “We remain committed to investigating and prosecuting public officials that abuse the trust placed in them by embezzling public funds. Such conduct offends taxpayers and citizens as well as the vast majority of public officials who are truly dedicated to their service.”
“Criminal acts by our public officials, such as those committed by Ms. Rose, undermine the trust necessary in our democracy,” stated David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Little Rock, “We will continue working closely with the Arkansas State Police and the U.S. Attorney’s office to investigate and prosecute such violations.”
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 recordkeeping 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.
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.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Arkansas State Police. Assistant U. S. Attorney Jonathan Ross is prosecuting the case for the United States.