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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
A Louisiana state government employee faces hundreds of forgery and theft charges after thousands of dollars went missing from the State Library's "Louisiana Library Foundation." Investigators believe it was an inside job.
It's an alleged theft spanning years, all allegedly done at the hands of a state employee.
The staff said it found discrepancies with the finances when Alison Foster, 39, was on medical leave last October. So Wednesday afternoon, a warrant was issued for her arrest.
The State Library of Louisiana is where Foster spent the past 16 years working as the executive assistant to the state librarian. As part of her job, she was given access to the library foundation's checkbook and credit card, but only had permission to make small purchases on a case-by-case basis, and every purchase had to be approved.
But Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Kelly said detectives found hundreds of unauthorized purchases.
"From June of 2007 to September 2011, several hundred unauthorized transactions using her state-issued credit card and her state-issued checkbook," said Sgt. Kelly.
174 credit card purchases, coming out to $27,582.98, 94 checks totaling $82,503.37. It's a total of $110,086.35 in alleged stolen foundation dollars.
"She denies ever converting any Library Foundation money to her personal use. She denies using a Library Foundation credit card for her personal use or ever issuing any foundation checks for her personal use," said Bruce Craft, Foster's attorney.
Police accused Foster of making a variety of purchases with the credit cards. The warrant said Louisiana Library Foundation checks were made out to "Alison Foster" or "cash." The warrant went on to say, "These check copies also show Foster's personal bank account number stamped on the back with "Alison Foster" signature as the endorser.
"Alison Foster maintains her innocence. All the facts in the story about what happened will come out at trial," said Craft.
The State Library falls under the Lt. Governor. They issued an emailed statement saying, "As soon as we became aware of the alleged criminal conduct, we turned this matter over to the appropriate law enforcement officials. The alleged theft involved Louisiana Library Foundation funds but no public monies. The employee has been terminated."
Foster faces one count felony theft in excess of $110,000, 94 counts of forgery and 174 counts of unauthorized use of credit card.
Craft said his client will turn herself into police this week.