Former DHH program director pleads guilty to kickback scheme with federal grant dollars

Former DHH program director pleads guilty to kickback scheme with federal grant dollars

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A former program director with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Curtis Mack, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of money laundering and one count of malfeasance in office.

Mack had nothing to say as he walked out of court Wednesday.

Mack and two others, Shonda Burns and Elaine Borskey, were arrested earlier this year in connection with an alleged kickback scheme involving federal gr ant money after a three-year investigation by the Louisiana Department of Justice and the FBI.

Authorities said they began investigating Mack in 2013 after a manager at an independent living facility that houses the homeless, mentally ill and substance abuse clients made claims that Mack solicited bribes. According to the apartment manager, Mack told him that he would give him money for the apartment complex through a federal gr ant to support the mentally ill, homeless and those suffering from substance abuse and in return, the manager would cash the checks and return the money to Mack, who would later write off the payments as maintenance work.

Through the investigation, it was reportedly found that Mack did the same with Elaine Borskey, the former director of the Outreach Center, and Shonda Burns, the owner of Angel House. Records showed Burns received nearly $47,000 in payments from April 9. 2010 until March 19, 2012 and gave Mack nearly $13,000 in kickbacks. Borskey reportedly received nearly $23,000 through the Olmstead gr ant between Sept. 9, 2011 through July 8, 2013. Officials said as a result, Mack, Borskey and Burns defrauded the Olmstead gr ant for more than $90,000.

Judge Trudy White sentenced Mack to pay $10,000 in restitution costs, do 24 hours of community service and serve one year of active supervised probation.

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