A former employee of an Iberia Parish nonprofit that works to redevelop rural communities was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in prison and ordered to perform 600 hours of community service for embezzling roughly $90,000 from the organization.
Timothy Daigle, 33, who now works as a baseball coach at Marksville High School, pleaded guilty in September to a federal fraud charge in a scheme to pocket federally supported loans that Southern Mutual Help Association was overseeing to help low-income families repair their homes.
Daigle had asked U.S. District Judge Haik for probation, blaming a series of poor decisions on an addiction to the prescription stimulant Vyvanse and the lure of the casino.
“Somewhere along the line, with all the Vyvanse and the gambling, I got myself into a bind,” Daigle said. “... I wish I could take it back, but I can’t.”
Federal prosecutors said Daigle, who worked as a loan officer for SMHA, falsified paperwork to set up a series of four fraudulent home repair loans from 2013 to 2014, arranging to have the money paid to a construction company owned by a friend who then gave the money back to Daigle.
“It was a fairly intricate scheme in the way he put it together,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph.
Daigle’s attorney, Brett Grayson, argued that a prison term would make it difficult for Daigle to keep his current job and pay the money back, and Daigle told the judge he believes he now has a handle on his substance abuse and gambling problems.
“I just feel like I could do more good on the outside than being in jail,” he said.
SMHA President and CEO Lorna Bourg told the judge she would like to see the money repaid quickly but that she also felt Daigle needed to spend some time behind bars to realize the impact of his actions.
“I think there is something larger than the money here,” she said. “I think he needs some physical skin in the game.”
Haik allowed Daigle to wait until June 1 to report to federal prison, giving him time to finish out the current school year.