Former PERF CBO Scott Gets 10 Years Behind Bars

December 30, 2003 ( - Former Indiana Public Employees' Retirement Fund (PERF) chief benefits officer (CBO) and convicted identity thief Walter Kevin Scott has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for embezzling more than $600,000 from a former employer and misusing another person's Social Security number.

Scott’s sentencing was originally scheduled for earlier this month, but was pushed backafter he agreed to revise his plea agreement.  In the revised plea agreement Scott admitted bribing employees at the Volunteers of America work-release facility to get preferential treatment, according to an Indianapolis Star report.

In all, Scott pleaded guilty toone count of misusing a Social Security number, two counts of bank fraud and 20 counts of illegal monetary transactions.   He was also ordered by US District Judge Sarah Evans Barker to pay $1.3 million in restitution.

Previously, Scott was convicted of embezzling $659,000 from his former employer, Bloomington-based Cook Group Inc., and for stealing another man’s identity to land his job at PERF.   Scott resigned from his post at the $10-billion state pension in August of 2002 after his criminal past was revealed to state officials (SeeProbe Continues into Former Pension Benefits Officer).

This was not Scott’s first view of the inside of a courtroom.   In 1996, Scott plead guilty to bank and mail fraud for stealing the identities of two Ohio residents.   Now with the second identity theft conviction, Scott says he has a “problem with dishonesty” and he plans to seek counseling.

More Fraud Accounts

In September, one of Scott’s former mignons, Shaunna Stone, pleaded guilty to a single count of bank fraud and 13 counts of misusing the Social Security numbers of other people.  Additionally, Stone admitted stealing $22,586 and seven identities from the fund (See  Former Indiana Pension Worker Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges ).   Stone had previously worked in the same benefits department headed by Scott.

Sentencing for Stone was put on hold, since she was8 1/2 months pregnant as the time of her guilty plea.   She faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for the bank fraud charge and will be ordered to pay restitution.   Earlier this month though, Barker threw the book at Stone to the tune of a little more than four years behind bars for her crimes (See Former Indiana Pension Staffer Sentenced in ID Theft Case ).   At the sentencing hearing, Barker told Stone, “These are real lives, and when you think about all the things you can steal from someone, a person’s identity is maybe the worst.”

Also in September a federal indictment was handed down against another former PERF employee, James Spaulding, for allegedly leading an eight-person conspiracy to steal $226,873 from the fund, which ultimately led to his arrest in August (See Accused PERF Fraud Perpetrator Ordered To Jail Until Trial ).  The theft was orchestrated during Spaulding’s temporary employment for the fund from January 2002 to July 2002, where the accusation of altering members’ accounts and causing checks to be cut from the fund in the names of his friends arose.