St. Helena’s Sheriff Office Employee Steals $35K to Gamble

The St. Helena Sheriff’s Office has made the news, but not with a crackdown on unlawful elements – or at least not completely. The Sheriff’s Office instead reported that one of the employees had been arrested on felony theft and malfeasance.

The culprit reportedly stole $35,000 from the department and used the money to fuel their gambling addiction. The news was confirmed by St. Helena Parish Sheriff Nathaniel Williams who detailed the case.

The arrest came after concerned citizens said that checks written to pay various office fees were never deposited, raising suspicion. The culprit, one Tequella Douglas, 39, a deputy, has misappropriated the money between April and May and then destroyed the checks, apparently.

When confronted, Douglas was open about her issue and said that she had developed a gambling problem and used the money to gamble. She was fired on June 16, the Sheriff’s Office explained, after spending almost six years on the job. The missing money will now be covered by the Sherriff’s office and Douglas will be liable for those as well.

Charity Suspected of Going Rogue

Meanwhile, in Georgia, a charity operating out of Buford was targeted by police over allegations that it was a front for illegal gambling. The 51-year-old owner, Dennis Maxwell, was arrested last Friday and charged with a felony count of commercial gambling, and a misdemeanor.

Police said that they seized $30,000 in illegal funds from Maxwell. The Little Kings and Queens, which was the charity, is a decorated local organization and has been in operation since 2016, according to its IRS Form 990.

Little Kings and Queens managed to quickly increase the overall amount generated by the charity going from $177,000 to $1.7 million in 2019. Any information after that period is not yet publicly available.

The charity’s mission statement reads, “TO MAKE KIDS’  DREAMS A REALITY.” In 2019, Little Kings and Queens were able to pay more than $1 million. However, it was not immediately clear what donations the money was paid out to.

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