Courts

Dallas County Sheriff's Office Employee Bilked $250,000 from Jail Commissary Fund

Pablo Iglesias
Myers spent the money at casinos and on plane tickets to travel around the country.
Umeka Treymane Myers spent the money she bilked from a Dallas County jail commissary program in big ways. She bought flights, traveled around the country and went to casinos. Now, she could spend 10 years in a federal prison.

Myers, a 49-year-old clerk who worked at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center, pleaded guilty on Thursday to stealing more than a quarter-million dollars from the commissary program, which received federal funds.

Myers worked for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office overseeing a property vault for inmates that gave them back their leftover commissary money upon their release from jail, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s North Texas office.

In late April, she was dealt a charge of theft from a program that receives federal funding. She waived her right to a grand jury and entered into a plea agreement with the government.

As part of her job, Myers was meant to correct errors that occurred when an inmate was unable to process a debit card payment. In effect, she made dozens of extra copies of their debit cards, according to court records.

Then, over a three-year period starting in 2018, she used the cards buying plane tickets and spent cash at casinos around the country. The feds reviewed casino records, airline records, ATM surveillance footage and her personal bank accounts.

In October last year, The Dallas Morning News reported that a county auditor had found nearly $700,000 had been stolen from inmate commissary accounts. The audit, which led to Myers' arrest at the time, concluded that 306 fraudulent debit cards had been made between 2015 and 2021. (The Dallas County Sheriff's Office said Myers was fired at the time of her arrest.)

"Accountability is a core value in our department and we will continue to provide transparency to the community when these types of situations occur," Sheriff Marian Brown told CBS at the time.

It’s not the first time a jail employee has stolen money from inmates or commissary programs.

In February 2020, WFAA reported that former Dallas City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, who has since pleaded guilty to taking bribes, had money stolen from his commissary while he was transferred from Dallas County Jail to a federal prison in Big Spring. It was unclear how much money went missing.

In East Texas in 2019, 23-year-old Mayra Gallegos-Balderas, who worked for a company that operates a local jail in Liberty County, was arrested and charged with stealing hundreds of dollars in cash that inmates had surrendered upon being booked.