KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former court administrator for the Jackson County Circuit Court pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to a fraud scheme in which she embezzled about $140,000 from the circuit court.
The government says Teresa York, 58, of Blue Springs, used court-paid credit cards for her own personal use and purchased gift cards paid for by the court for her own personal use.
York used the credit cards toward the following personal expenses, the government alleges:
- $2,252 for gas for her personal driving, even though the court used mileage reimbursement forms to reimburse business driving
- $9,532 for personal items and gift cards from Amazon
- $6,446 for personal items such as clothing and make-up
- $8,350 for personal meals
- $487 for U.S. postal stamps for her personal use (the court uses metered postage for its mail, rather than stamps)
- $46,535 for Apple computer products (the court did not use a system compatible with Apple computers)
- $35,356 for gift cards
York kept most of the gift cards, in the amount of $29,371, for her personal use and distributed $5,985 of these gift cards to court staff, on a merit system determined by her, as a type of bonus.
York also sold some computers owned by the court and kept the proceeds of the sales for her personal use.
Additionally, the government claims York organized a fraudulent contract scheme amounting to $69,500 in which she entered a contract with CBDM Services, LLC, on behalf of the court, purportedly for workflow analysis.
York did not disclose to the court that actually someone with whom she allegedly had a personal relationship would be receiving 90 percent of the payments made to CBDM.
York was appointed as the court administrator for the Jackson County Circuit Court in 2003 and resigned on July 2, 2012, after her embezzlement was discovered.
As a result of York’s fraudulent actions, the government contends the total loss to the court was $139,536, while the intended loss was $142,278.
Under the terms of the plea agreement in which she admitted to mail fraud, York must pay a $77,778 money judgment to the government in forfeiture, which represents her proceeds from the fraud scheme.
York is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.