0

Sylvester woman indicted for bilking teacher retirement system

— SYLVESTER — Representatives of Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said Tuesday that a grand jury in Tift County indicted Chiquita Rivers Monday on seven counts of forgery in the first degree.

Additionally, in January 2012, Rivers was indicted by a Worth County Grand Jury on 10 felony counts and three misdemeanor counts of theft by taking, three counts of false statements and writings and six counts of forgery in the first degree.

The indictments allege that Rivers, the granddaughter of a retired Worth County schoolteacher, stole retirement benefits inadvertently paid by the Teachers’ Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) to Rosa Lee Lumpkin after her death in 1994 until her death was discovered in February 2010.

Allegedly, Rivers stole the benefits by cashing forged checks written from her deceased grandmother’s bank account and executed fraudulent documents to facilitate the theft.

A spokesperson with Olens’ office said that Rivers is alleged to have stolen $19,385.

Forgery in the first degree and felony theft by taking are punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine, misdemeanor theft by taking is punishable by a maximum of 12 months in prison and up to a $1,000 fine and false statements and writings is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and up to a $1,000 fine.

Assistant Attorney General Shepard Orlow is prosecuting the case on behalf of the state. The case was investigated by Special Agent Marko Jones of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The press release issued by Attorney General Sam Olens states:

A Tift County Grand Jury indicted Chiquita Rivers yesterday on seven counts of Forgery in the First Degree (O.C.G.A. § 16-9-1). Additionally, in January 2012, Rivers was indicted by a Worth County Grand Jury on ten felony counts and three misdemeanor counts of Theft by Taking (O.C.G.A. § 16-8-2); three counts of False Statements and Writings (O.C.G.A. § 16-10-20); and six counts of Forgery in the First Degree (O.C.G.A. § 16-9-1).

The indictments allege that Rivers, the granddaughter of a retired Worth County schoolteacher, stole retirement benefits inadvertently paid by the Teachers’ Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) to Rosa Lee Lumpkin after her death in 1994 until her death was discovered in February 2010. Allegedly, Rivers stole the benefits by cashing forged checks written from her deceased grandmother’s bank account and executed fraudulent documents to facilitate the theft.

Forgery in the First Degree and felony Theft by Taking are punishable by a maximum of ten years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine; misdemeanor Theft by Taking is punishable by a maximum of 12 months in prison and up to a $1,000 fine; and False Statements and Writings is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and up to a $1,000 fine.

Assistant Attorney General Shepard Orlow is prosecuting the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. The case was investigated by Special Agent Marko Jones of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Members of the public should keep in mind that indictments contain only allegations against the individual(s) against whom the indictment is sought. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and it will be the government’s burden at trial to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the allegations contained in the indictment.

Comments

dingleberry 2 years, 9 months ago

Surely is a long period of time the "suspect" was "alleged" to have carried on the "forgery and theft". Of course, the person is "innocent until proven guilty" but it likely won't be hard to get the "reasonable doubt"removed on this one. I wonder if the deceased had someone else "innocent until proven guilty" filing tax returns all these years, another thing the public should keep in mind" until more "reasonable doubt" can be removed. Looks like the TRS needs to do some verification work. With the data bases and computer capability that exist it should be a simple matter--unless TRS really doesn't want to know.

1

Outtahere 2 years, 9 months ago

Are you guys sure that she's not from Albany?

0

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 9 months ago

I hope the TRS doesn't have ridulous rules (as the Dept. of Agriculture does) which prohibit local entities from evaluating who, where, and when their checks go to.

0

DoctorDorite 2 years, 9 months ago

Why so few counts charged ? This person needs to do a long hard time sentence for this !! Want to bet she drives a Escalade, LOL

0

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 9 months ago

Escalades are crappola.........it's BMW 700 series or Mercedes 500 series. If you ain't got one of them you's a dope.......car's gotta cost a hundred Gee's or you ain't got nuttin.

0

dingleberry 2 years, 9 months ago

WALB said death in 2010, retired in 1994. B-I-G difference. Who be right?

0

DoctorDorite 2 years, 9 months ago

Read the article ! she died in 94 but the Teacher Retirement did'nt find out until 2010, YES, thats 16 yrs of monthly checks she made off with. She better hope she's tried in Albany or else she's a goner, LOL

0

dingleberry 2 years, 9 months ago

Red it DD! Question still stands.

0

Melissa 2 years, 9 months ago

The indictments allege that Rivers, the granddaughter of a retired Worth County schoolteacher, stole retirement benefits inadvertently paid by the Teachers’ Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) to Rosa Lee Lumpkin after her death in 1994 until her death was discovered in February 2010.

0

Trustbuster 2 years, 9 months ago

If found guilty this person should receive the maximum sentence due to the fact she continued to forge and cash the retirement checks. This is similar to the fraud committed in Food Stamps and Social Security. A total misuse of funds. She better have a good defense attorney.

0

Margie 2 years, 9 months ago

Someone should have notified the TRS and returned those checks, every month until they stopped. If the granddaughter was not a dependent that would qualify her to received benefits on behalf of her grandmother ( which the checks would have been in granddaughter name if the case), she had no right. But, to continue over a period of time is inexcusable. Even if she cashed the checks to pay of funeral expenses and debt, which I doubt, the checks should have been returned. $19K or any amount is not worth the years in prison,

0

tccvc 2 years, 9 months ago

the most important part of this article is:

"Members of the public should keep in mind that indictments contain only allegations against the individual(s) against whom the indictment is sought. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and it will be the government’s burden at trial to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the allegations contained in the indictment."

0

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 9 months ago

oh........maybe it was an accident....? that went on for 5 years?.......right

0

DoctorDorite 2 years, 9 months ago

Her teacher retirement was alot more than 19K per year, so how does the state figure thats the amount stolen ?? and this went on for 16 yrs. I smell a plea bargin coming and someones gonna walk away free and clear, maybe a little probation, LOL.

0

Sign in to comment