Webster Parish woman pleads guilty to stealing more than $1 million from feeding program

Crime

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Cotton Valley woman is facing up to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to taking more than $1 million from a federal feeding program.

Federal prosecutors say that Myrna Thomas Quarles pleaded guilty to taking the money that was meant to provide meals to economically disadvantaged children during the summer months when they are not in school.

Quarles was the director of Greater Horizons Developmental Services, a non-profit headquartered in Webster Parish. Greater Horizons received reimbursements from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Feeding Service Program (SFSP), which was administered through the State of Louisiana.

Prosecutors say from 2014 through 2015, Greater Horizons submitted reimbursement claims that greatly inflated the number of eligible meals provided. Once Greater Horizons received the money, Quarles wrote checks that were payable to vendors and other third parties, but instead of sending those checks to the vendors, Quarles deposited that money into her personal bank account, which resulted in her theft of $1,103,148.92 from federal feeding program. Additionally, Quarles used a Greater Horizons credit card for approximately $370,000 in personal spending. Purchases included real estate, farm equipment, a restaurant, air travel, cruises and designer luxury items.

Quarles is set to be sentenced on January 12, 2020. She faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and restitution.

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