Former state gov’t contractor gets jail time for taking in $30K after being let go

Crime
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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A former state government contractor who pled guilty to fraud charges last year will spend six months behind bars.

Latoya S. Cook, 35, pled guilty last October to two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses after a Capitol Police investigation revealed she committed fraud, receiving nearly $30,000 months after being let go. 

She was sentenced Wednesday to serves three months in jail for each charge. 

Ampcus Inc., a contractor for the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) based in Chantilly, was reportedly billing the VHDA for Cook’s work from July 2016 to March 2017, Capitol Police learned from housing authority officials. 

Cook, who had been fired on June 30, had time sheets from July 2016 until March 2017 that appeared to be signed by a supervisor.

Investigators discovered Cook’s time sheets and the signatures were fake.  

Ampcus, which participates in the state’s program for small, woman-owned and minority businesses, experienced the financial loss from Cook’s actions. A grand jury in Henrico indicted Cook, who was then arrested July 2.

“We appreciate the work of the Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in bringing this matter to an
appropriate resolution,” Chief of Capitol Police Col. Anthony S. Pike said in a release. “The outcome shows we will vigorously pursue thefts from the Commonwealth of Virginia, its partners or other stakeholders.”

Cook, a Glen Allen resident, also agreed to pay Ampcus $29,590.06 as restitution.    

While VHDA did not suffer a direct financial loss from the actions, the losses were incurred by Ampcus, a vendor participating in the state’s program for small, women-owned and minority businesses, according to Capitol Police.

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