An Arkansas woman who worked for a county judge admitted Monday to charging nearly $200,000 worth of personal items to a county credit card, including a tuxedo for her dog, court records show.
Kristi Lyn Goss, 44, pleaded guilty to six felony counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, according to the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record. Two of the charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and the other four each carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Goss, who worked for Garland County since 2004, was fired in June 2016 after the fraud allegations surfaced, the Sentinel-Record reported. She was arrested last October.
An affidavit for Goss’ arrest stated that the Arkansas State Police was called in to investigate financial discrepancies discovered by Goss’ supervisors last summer. Investigators found that Goss, who was responsible for buying computer equipment for the county and paying some of its bills with the county credit card, had failed to pay several bills on time. There was also an outstanding balance on the card.
Further investigation uncovered Goss’ personal purchases, which included the tuxedo for her pug, tickets to Arkansas Razorback games, hotel gift cards, a diamond bracelet and sequined throw pillows. Goss also used the card to pay her personal real estate taxes, as well as car payments and her electric and cellphone bills, according to the affidavit.
Goss was also suspected of diverting funds meant for other Garland County departments to pay some of the credit card bills in an effort to cover her tracks, the document said.
The Sentinel-Record reported that Garland County Judge Rick Davis said when Goss was arrested that he “inherited” her from his predecessor and that he notified the proper authorities as soon as he became aware of the financial discrepancies.
“I hope for swift justice in this situation, and hope a message has been sent to all that any and all misconduct and noncompliance with county policy and the law will not be tolerated, and appropriate actions will always be taken to bring justice,” Davis said in a statement last year.
Goss is scheduled for sentencing in November.