U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: March 28, 2007
1100 Commerce St., 3rd Fl.
Dallas, Texas 75242-1699
Telephone (214) 659-8600
Fax (214) 767-0978
Federal Jury Convicts DISD Employee
Following a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay, a federal jury deliberated less than five hours before convicting Marsha August Ollison, a former employee of the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), on all three counts of a federal indictment charging theft from an organization receiving federal funds, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Ollison, 43, who has been on bond since her arrest in September, will be sentenced on July 30, 2007, by Judge Lindsay. She faces a maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in prison, a $750,000 fine and restitution.
U.S. Attorney Roper said, "I applaud the jury's verdict. This verdict demonstrates that the citizens of Dallas will not tolerate those who abuse their positions of trust by embezzling public funds."
The government presented evidence at trial that Ollison, of The Colony, Texas, worked as an Administrative Assistant in the Superintendent's office, and was an agent of the DISD. DISD issued credit cards, also known as procurement cards (P-Cards), for use by its employees. DISD funds were used to pay for purchases made with P-Cards, and employees, including Ollison, were instructed in a Procurement Card Manual that P-Cards were "for district purchases only." The government also presented evidence that DISD employees, including Ollison, signed Procurement Cardholder Agreement Forms that stated, "I understand that under no circumstances will I use the procurement card to make personal purchases, either for others, or myself."
The government also presented evidence that during 2004, 2005 and 2006, Ollison embezzled property, valued at approximately $56,000, by purchasing numerous items for her own personal use and for the use of another person with a DISD P-Card. For example, Ollison bought, among other items, 65 vases of varying color, shape and size, women's clothing including underwear, accessories and a leather jacket, personal products such as perfume, makeup, contact lens solution and hair spray, and household items including candles, wine goblets, bedding, and a queen-sized therapeutic mattress cover.
U.S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Education - Office of Inspector General.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lynn Hastings and Dayle Elieson.