in Houston, Texas
Taxpayer funds for the disabled allegedly looted by nonprofit CFO to pay off credit cards; her death in the days after indictment now being investigated
Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012, 05:39PM CST
By Mark Lisheron

Investigators are awaiting a ruling on the cause of the death of a former chief financial officer indicted on charges that she misappropriated more than $100,000 in state funds from a non-profit agency helping people with disabilities pay their rent.

Mary Ann Hernandez, 58, of Pflugerville, CFO for Austin Resource Center for Independent Living between 2005 and 2009, died on March 6, according to the Travis County District Attorney’s office.

The cause of her death awaits toxicology reports by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s office.

On March 1, a Travis County grand jury indicted Hernandez on two felony counts, misapplication of fiduciary property of at least $100,000 and less than $200,000 and theft of at least $20,000 and less than $100,000.

The indictment lists the amounts of dozens of checks allegedly drawn on Resource Center accounts by Hernandez to pay Visa credit card bills between 2005 and 2009. The funds were provided through a state program administered by the state Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

The department called on the special investigations unit of the state Auditor, whose inquiry into the missing funds provided the basis for the grand jury indictment, according to a press release issued today by the Auditor.

Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of money by flickr user athrasher, used via a Creative Commons license.

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