A federal grand jury has handed down an indictment against a former employee of the DeSoto Parish District Attorney who is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the District Attorney’s office.
Melanie Barber, 35, of Converse, was charged with seven counts of mail fraud, according to acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook.
An audit released by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor in early 2015, established that during at least 10 years of Barber’s 12-year tenure in the DA’s office, she cashed 580 money orders totaling more than $136,000 and utilized the money for her personal use.
Barber was employed by the Desoto Parish District Attorney’s office from April 2002 until Feb. 2014.
The money orders were collected by worthless checks and diversion fees but negotiated by Barber at several local banks and retailers for her personal use.
Barber faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine per count. She also faces forfeiture.