Georgia Corrections worker pleads guilty to stealing $200K

A second Georgia Department of Corrections employee has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $200,000 in state funds that were supposed to be used to pay back victims of financial crimes.

Daynna Gregory, 41, of Lithonia, along with Tammi Stephens, 37, of Forsyth, participated in a check fraud scheme with Richard Cantrell, 54, a flower shop owner from Marietta, acting U.S. attorney John Horn said in a news release Wednesday.

Cantrell, who was not a corrections department employee, was sentenced in July to two years in prison with three years of supervised release. Stephens, who worked as an account paraprofessional, faces sentencing on July 31, and Gregory, who worked as an accounting clerk, on Sept. 24.

From September 2013 to June 2014, Stephens and Gregory worked in the corrections department’s banking unit and issued checks drawn on the restitution fund, Horn said. They used their access to the fund to issue fraudulent checks payable to Cantrell’s flower shop to hide their involvement and launder the stolen money, Horn said.

They issued 29 fraudulent checks to the shop which Cantrell cashed, and the three split the proceeds which totaled more than $232,000, Horn said. They spent the money on a variety of retail purchases.