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A West Monroe man is accused of false accounting and felony theft after he allegedly embezzled over $400,000 from G.B. Cooley Hospital Service District.
According to an arrest warrant filed by the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office, Edward E. Calloway, age 40, arranged a meeting with investigators through his attorney and confessed to several years of theft.
Calloway told investigators he was the financial director for G.B. Cooley and previously served as a staff accountant. While a staff accountant, Calloway said he started to steal money from the organization’s bank accounts by making direct deposit withdrawals to a personal account.
According to the warrant, these transfers moved from the G.B. Cooley general fund to Calloway’s personal account and from the general fund to a G.B. Cooley sink fund and payroll account before being transferred to a personal account. He said the payroll transactions were meant to look like payroll disbursements.
Calloway said in the beginning he transferred about one to two transactions a week ranging from $400 to $800. Per the warrant, the transfers grew to two to three times per week and ranged from $1,400 to $1,900.
Calloway estimated the total funds taken over the entire period of the theft reached $400,000.
The suspect told investigators revenue deposited into the general fund was derived from Medicaid SIL, Medicaid Support Employment and the parish millage tax funds.
Calloway told investigators he was able to fool auditors for years because he was in charge of reconciling records, knowledgeable about the organization’s financial software and altered specific documents as they were requested.
According to the warrant, auditors only requested a statement for the month of June each year.
Calloway said he scanned that statement into a PDF converter, deleted the withdrawals and shrank the PDF to hide the blank sections from the deleted transfers. To offset the shortage, Calloway said he also deleted incoming revenue.
Calloway said he decided to confess because auditors sent a records request and said they were on the way.
“Calloway was frightened that he would finally be caught stealing,” the warrant states. “He provided two years of bank statements from his La Capitol and Richland State bank accounts. He said he highlighted the stolen funds listed on the statements as ACH deposits.”
Investigators reported that the statements provided showed many deposits from G.B. Cooley ranging from $500 to $5,300.
A warrant was filed for Calloway on Friday, and he was booked at Ouachita Correctional Center Friday morning.
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