Seriously, Never Give an Employee the Company Credit Card. Like, Ever.

Josephine Davis used to work in the Dallas office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of General Counsel -- used to. Now, she may very well end up in prison for the next decade. Lesson learned? Do not use a government-issued credit card to spend $10,000 on a retirement party for the boss. Because while the boss may appreciate it, the U.S. government most certainly does not. It also didn't help that Davis also pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Dallas today to raking in $10,000 in "unsubstantiated requests for overtime" from 2004 to '07, and running up $2,885 worth of charges on her government-issued cell phone. Where did she think she was working, anyway? The DISD? The full release follows. --Robert Wilonsky


DALLAS - A former employee in the Dallas regional office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of General Counsel (OGC), Josephine Davis, pled guilty today in federal court to theft of government property, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Davis, 58, of Dallas, entered her plea to the one-count Information before Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater. She faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution. She is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Fitzwater on January 23, 2009.

According to documents filed in Court, Davis worked as a program analyst and team leader for non-attorney staff at the OGC. She was an authorized user of a government credit card issued to pay for supplies, furniture, training and maintenance related to the OGC. However, in late 2006 and 2007, Davis charged purchases totaling $9,537.00 to that government credit card to pay for a retirement party for her supervisor. These charges included the cost of banquet facilities, catering, and decorations. Davis admits that she knew she was not authorized to spend OGC funds nor use the government credit card for these purchases.

After charging the party purchases on the government credit card, Davis transferred $10,000.00 from one OGC fund to an OGC "training" budget to pay for the charges.

In addition, from 2004 to 2007, Davis obtained over $10,000.00 from OGC as a result of unsubstantiated requests for overtime, as well as $2,885.00 paid on her behalf for personal use of a government-issued cell phone.

U.S. Attorney Roper praised the excellent investigative work of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Miller is prosecuting the case.

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