A former village clerk for Anacoco has been arrested and charged with the theft of approximately $71,000 in village funds, according to Louisiana State Police.
Shaunda L. Pridgen, 48, was formally charged on Tuesday with 49 counts of misdemeanor theft, 3 counts of felony theft, 22 counts of payroll fraud, 58 counts of forgery and malfeasance in office.
According to state police spokesperson Casey Wallace, LSP was contacted in January by Anacoco officials to investigate discrepancies discovered during an internal audit.
According to information released by the state Legislative Auditor’s office, the funds are alleged to have been misappropriated between July 2018 and September 2019. The funds were found to be missing when the village failed its most recent audit.
Pridgen allegedly took multiple payroll checks in excess of salary, made numerous personal charges on the village’s credit card, and took cash payments received at the village’s office.
Pridgen was booked into the Vernon Parish Detention Center.
Anacoco officials have not responded to requests for comment by the American Press.