Jennifer Feazel Mahfouz was arrested last Thursday and charged with Theft, Malfeasance and Fraud. Mahfouz was fired as Administrator of the Red River Parish Communications District last April.
The regular annual audit of the Communications District by a contract auditor turned up some suspicious transactions. The matter was turned over to the state Legislative Auditor for follow-up. The auditor released its report in July (see the July 16th issue of The Journal).
At that time the audit said the district’s former Administrator (Mahfouz) “issued 10 extra paychecks to herself…between July 2016 and January 2017.” Those extra paychecks totaled over $17,000 in 2017. In addition the report found that electronic accounting records had been altered in an attempt to cover up the discrepancies. Mahfouz told the auditors she did not realize she received extra paychecks and does not know who she overpaid herself.
On July 19th The Journal reported that District Attorney Julie Jones said she was working with the state Attorney General on the matter. “They will review the audit. They will make a thorough investigation of the results,” said Jones.
After their investigation, Attorney General Jeff Landry issued this statement:
“The people of Louisiana deserve professionals who work to make our communities better, not violate the public’s trust. My office remains committed to doing all we can to ensure public servants act in a manner that is both lawful and admirable. I commend DA Jones for her attention to this case.”
Jones issued this statement:
“I have a responsibility to the community to make sure everyone honors the law,” said Red River District Attorney Julie Jones. “I appreciate the diligence by General Landry and his office in this matter.”
On December 13th Mahfouz was arrested by the Red River Sheriff’s Office and booked on charges of Theft, False Accounting, Computer Fraud, Second Degree Injuring Public Records, Filing or Maintaining False Public Records, and Malfeasance in Office. Mahfouz posted a $10,000 surety bond that day.
District Attorney Julie Jones told The Journal that Mahfouz had been indicted by the parish grand jury earlier this month. We asked what is next in the case and Jones said, “She will be set for arraignment within 90 days of the indictment. Her arraignment date will be January 22, 2019. At the arraignment she will enter a plea and then we will proceed toward trial.”
Mahfouz remains free on bail pending the arraignment.