Cameron official, others accused of embezzling

February 28, 2011 at 2:14 am

A former Cameron Parish ambulance district director and employees at a Jennings accounting firm are accused of embezzling almost $400,000, according to court documents.

A civil suit petition states that Stephen Kershaw, while serving as director of Cameron Parish Ambulance District 2, conspired with April Ebarb, Betty Bealer and Brittany Durio, all of Jennings and employees at Arthur D. Matte’s accounting firm, to falsely issue checks to themselves.

The activities were covered up by changing the names on the checks in the accounting software, according to court documents.

Kershaw reportedly pocketed $202,490.21 between 2005 and 2010.

Matte’s accounting firm was tasked with handling payroll, taxes and bills incurred by the ambulance district, which covers the Hackberry area.

The investigation began in 2010, during which FBI agents seized the district’s financial records.

According to records, Kershaw’s attorneys stated that he was pressured to go along with the scheme by Matte’s employees.

When Kershaw said he would report the fraud, April Ebarb reportedly threatened to tell the board of directors about the manipulation of checks.

Officials are asking for the accused to pay back the allegedly embezzled money and all legal fees.

No trial date has been set.

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