A former Dallas police corporal who headed Dallas Crime Stoppers pleaded guilty Thursday to federal conspiracy and tax charges, according to Justice Department officials.
Federal authorities said that the former officer failed to report almost $175,000 in income and failed to pay nearly $38,000 in taxes.
Theodora Ross, 52, of Rowlett, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and willfully attempting to evade assessment of income taxes.
The former officer remained free on bail and will be sentenced on Dec. 3.
Ross faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge and five years in prison and a $100,000 fine on the income tax evasion charge.
Ross worked at the Dallas Crime Stoppers office from 2003 to May 2010, and headed that office from March 2006 to May 2010, according to federal documents.
Federal authorities said that Ross and co-defendant Malva R. Delley, 38, of Dallas, defrauded the North Texas Crime Commission from February 2005 to May 2010. The Dallas Crime Stoppers office is funded by the commission, by fines levied by the Dallas and Colllin county courts, private donations and fundraisers. At the time of the alleged crime, Dallas Crime Stoppers was staffed by Dallas police and deputies with the Dallas County Sheriff's Department.
Crime Stoppers is a nationwide program that offers cash rewards for information from anonymous callers that leads to the arrest and indictment of criminals.
Ross determined which tips would be presented to the North Texas Crime Commission for cash reward, prepared the Crime Stoppers list for rewards and sent the lists to Delley, federal authorities said in a news release. The lists were bogus, federal court documents stated.
Ross provided the fake information to Delley, who then presented the information to JP Morgan Chase Bank and collected the cash rewards, according to the Justice Department.
After getting the cash, Ross and Delley divided the money, federal authorities said. Several times, Delley deposited Ross' share directly into the former officer's bank account, according to federal authorities.
On the tax evasion charge, Ross admitted that from 2006 to 2009 she filed false fraudulent federal income tax forms, federal authorities said.
Delley pleaded guilty on May 17 to conspiracy to make a false statement to a financial institution. She also remained free on bail will be sentenced on Sept. 24. Delley faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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