A former clerk at a Lafayette agency that helps the developmentally disabled has been accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the nonprofit over a five-year span to finance her drug addiction.
Naomi Gray, 39, of Youngsville, was arrested Feb. 10 on counts of felony theft of $102,741 from April 2009 to January 2014, according to a Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office arrest report.
Gray’s alleged theft was made public Monday in a state audit of the Lafayette Association of Retarded Citizens Inc.
Detective Michael Kelly in an arrest report said Gray told him “the money was to purchase narcotics which she was addicted to at the time.”
Glenn Weber, executive director at LARC, said Monday that financial officers at LARC contacted state auditors and also the Sheriff’s Office in early 2014 after an in-house review revealed there was money that had not been deposited.
Weber said the cash Gray is accused of stealing was self-generated or was money LARC received through fundraising efforts. He said none of the money came from state funds that flow to the agency.
“We fortunately have insurance coverage for those kinds of claims,” he said.
Gray was the accounts receivable and accounts payable clerk at LARC whose job included depositing funds. She told Detective Kelly that she created duplicate accounts and shuffled money around to conceal the thefts, the arrest report states.
Lafayette Parish District Attorney Keith Stutes said the case is under review by prosecutors.
“We are going to take action if taking action is appropriate,” Stutes said.
LARC serves over 300 individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. The 60-year-old agency also owns and operates Acadian Village, where developmentally disabled clients are employed.
“We’ve implemented and expanded internal financial controls that are aimed at trying to preclude that type of thing from ever happening again,” Weber said.
“If you were to look for a silver lining in that otherwise dark cloud, it’s that it really was cause for us to take a look at the whole system,” he said.