A former Cascade County Sheriff’s Office employee entered a guilty plea during a hearing in federal court for taking money from the Sherriff’s Office while she was an accountant there.
According to court documents Michele Levesey Woods, also known as Michele Levesey Saubak, is charged by indictment with one count of theft from a program receiving federal funds.
In order for the defendant to be found guilty of Theft from a Program Receiving Federal Funding, the United States must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
First, the defendant was an agent of a State or local government, or agency thereof;
Second, the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office received in excess of $10,000 during any one-year period under a Federal grant, contract, subsidy, loan guarantee, insurance, or other form of Federal assistance;
Third, the defendant embezzled, stole, obtained by fraud or otherwise, or knowingly converted to the use of any person other than the rightful owner, or intentionally misapplied property;
Fourth, the property had a value of $5,000 or more; and,
Fifth, the property was owned by or was under the care, custody, or control of the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office.
Michele Woods worked for the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office between September 2014 and May 2016. During that time Woods ultimately received cash deposits from members of the public, which included money for the 24/7 program and other services offered by the county.
Rather than deposit the money as required, Woods began to embezzle it to cover her personal debts and gambling habits.
Court documents state the investigation began when Woods left the Sheriff’s Office. While employees were cleaning out Woods’ office, they noticed a cash intake form that did not have a corresponding deposit slip, indicating that Woods was embezzling money from the Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation determined the total amount embezzled by Woods from the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office was $31,614.37.
The FBI interviewed Woods, and she confessed to taking the money. Woods wrote an apology letter to the Sheriff’s Office: “I realize I have taken money from you in amounts unimaginable to me, and I am deeply sorry. I will pay it back . . . . It might take many years, but I will!”
Indictment charges the crime of Theft from a Program Receiving Federal Funding carries up to ten years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years supervised release.
Woods’ sentencing is scheduled for May 2nd.