Grand Jury Indicts Another Ex-Indiana Pension Worker

September 18, 2003 ( - Another former employee of the Indiana Public Employees' Retirement Fund (PERF) has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

The indictment came after federal charges were filed against 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, according to an Indianapolis Star report.

Also indicted were six other Indianapolis residents who prosecutors said did not work at the fund but were nonetheless involved in the scheme.   In all, the seven were charged with eight counts of money laundering and seven counts of bank fraud. According to the prosecutor in the case, the most serious charge of bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Treacherous Trio

With the indictment, Spaulding became the third ex-fund worker within one year to face federal charges.  Currently, former temporary employee, Shaunna Stone – who worked at the agency for eight months – is currently awaiting federal trial on charges that she stole the identities of two public employees and bilked three others out of nearly $11,000 (See   Another Indiana Pension Worker Accused of ID Theft).

Adding to the fray is that Stone had previously worked in the same benefits department headed by convicted identity thief Walter Kevin Scott, who resigned from his job last August after his criminal past was revealed to state officials (See   Probe Continues into Former Pension Benefits Officer). Scott is also facing charges of embezzling money from his former employer, Cook Inc., a manufacturer of medical devices.