An Arkansas woman spent years stealing money from the county she worked for, and bought her Pug a nice suit with the funds.
In weird news, a woman is going to jail for some very fashion-forward fraud.
Kristi Lyn Goss, a 44-year old woman from Arkansas, was working for Garland County as an administrative assistant to a judge.
Goss began her spending spree in 2012, and it continued through 2016.
Timeline of Events
County Judge Rick Davis said that Goss was an employee he had “inherited.” He said Goss had worked for the county since 2004, and that her duties included the order and purchase of technical equipment for the county, and paying various bills.
She used the county credit card number, but the physical card was held by her immediate supervisor. She obtained the credit card number in late 2011.
Cathy Gaylene Tankersley does accounts payable for the county. She started to become suspicious after repeated incidents in which Goss would rush claims through due to being “past due.” The claims weren’t balancing out with the submitted invoices, and Goss always had excuses for this.
Then, Garland County Comptroller Susan Ashmore noticed that Goss was no longer paying the county bills on time and that there was an outstanding balance on the credit card.
Taking a closer look at the credit card charges, Ashmore began to notice a lot of discrepancies, and notified the Judge.
When Davis discovered the discrepancies, he immediately spoke to Goss, and notifies various authorities, including the card company, state Legislative Audit, the sheriff, and several attorneys.
The Fraudulent Purchases
Auditors uncovered 3,722 charges to the card between December 2011 and May 2016.
The exact amount of suspected personal charges totaled $162,598, and some of the purchases are incredibly noteworthy, including:
- An $89 set of sequined pillows
- A $130 bracelet
- $1,000 in tickets to Arkansas Razorbacks football game
- $4,400 spent on her electrical bills
- $4,900 spent on her cell phone bills
She also paid for her water bill, car payments, personal real estate taxes, hotel gift cards, and pet insurance using the credit card.
Incredibly, Goss didn’t seem to think it through enough to determine that maybe the purchase of a dog tuxedo on Amazon would throw up red flags for the auditors. Well, it did.
While we’re being honest here for a minute, the dog tuxedo was pretty fabulous.
Goss left her position in May 2016, and was officially fired the next month. In July, Arkansas State Police began investigating the fraudulent charges.
She was arrested in October of that year, later released on $50,000 bond.
Goss is being charged with six felony counts of fraud for abusing the credit card. Goss was supposed to stand trial on September 13th, but pleaded guilty to the crimes on September 11th.
She will be sentenced on Nov. 22. She could serve between 3 and 20 years for each count. There are two counts of purchases exceeding $25,000, each punishable by up to 20 years. There are also four counts of purchases exceeding $5,000, each punishable by up to 10 years.
A gag order was put in place in 2016, and will remain active until she is sentenced in November.
It is currently unknown what will become of the stylish Pug.
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