A former manager of the Boyd County Child Support Enforcement Office has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in federal court on Friday.
Mary E. Pickett admitted she defrauded a state agency, embezzling significant funds, in front of U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning, according to a Department of Justice press release.
Pickett misappropriated BCCSEO funds for her own personal use and benefit between Jan. 4, 2013, and Sept. 20, 2019, according to her plea agreement. Pickett submitted false payroll documents to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, including falsely reporting that an employee had worked 40 hours per week — the employee actually had logged only 14 hours. Pickett, according to the agreement, wrote herself checks to make up the difference.
In all, Pickett embezzled $126,313.90. She admitted to forging the signature of her supervisor without his knowledge or permission, according to the agreement.
Pickett was charged by way of information, waiving her right to federal indictment, according to the press release.
The FBI and Kentucky State Police conducted the investigation.
Pickett is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 11, 2021, in Ashland. She faces up to 20 years in prison for mail fraud, a minimum of two years for identity theft and a maximum fine of $250,000.
Any sentence will be imposed by the court after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal sentencing statutes, according to the release.