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Stealing from Foster Children
March 11, 2012 permalink
Oklahoma DHS child welfare worker Michelle L. Fausett found a way to add to her income. She took $3,700 from the accounts of three disabled foster children and used it to buy electronics for herself.
Fired Oklahoma DHS worker is accused of stealing from disabled foster children
A fired Oklahoma Department of Human Services child welfare specialist, Michelle L. Fausett, has been charged with three felony counts of financial exploitation of a disabled child.
A fired DHS child welfare worker has been accused of stealing almost $3,700 from three disabled foster children.
Michelle L. Fausett, 38, of Oklahoma City, is charged with three felony counts of financial exploitation of a disabled child.
Oklahoma County prosecutors allege Fausett bought video gaming systems, laptop computers, televisions and other things for the foster children, but never delivered them to the foster homes.
She may have taken some of the items to her own home, according to an investigative report.
She made the purchases from funds the three boys received from the federal government because they are disabled.
One boy lost $972, another boy lost $1,446, and the third boy lost $1,247, prosecutors allege.
The state Department of Human Services fired Fausett Jan. 20 for dereliction of duty because she stopped coming to work, records show.
She had worked at the agency more than three years.
She turned in her DHS identification badge, cellphone and computer Dec. 7. She also brought in a used Xbox 360 video game console, used scooter and used bicycle helmet, records show.
Fausett acted after a co-worker confronted her Dec. 5 about why a foster child never got items purchased for him in August, records show.
Fausett was charged after DHS completed an internal investigation and sent the findings to prosecutors.
DHS “holds its employees to a very high standard because of the vulnerable people we serve,” DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell said. “The financial exploitation of a foster child is particularly disgraceful, and we will not tolerate any employee committing such an act.”
If convicted, Fausett faces up to 10 years in prison on each count and a $10,000 fine.
She had not been arrested by Friday afternoon. She could not be reached for comment.