Posted: Thursday, August 7th 2014 at 6:17pm
Forsyth Co. woman sentenced to federal prison for falsifying gov. grant applications
By Alyson Shields Staff
CUMMING - A 62 year old Forsyth County woman has been sentenced to a year and nine months in federal prison, among other things, for falsifying government grant applications and obtaining over $600,000 in government anti-drug funds.
Jessica Regas of Cumming was sentenced to jail time, as well as three years supervised release and also to pay back the $600,000.
Regas used her private business, the Georgia Martial Arts Foundation, to obtain the funds. She applied for a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) beginning in 2004. The grant she applied for required grantees to coordinate a coalition that included community members from 12 areas, hold meetings and maintain minutes, among other things. Georgia Martial Arts Foundation was the designated grantee in charge of the “Drug Free Forsyth Coalition.”
The Georgia Martial Arts Foundation received the grants from 2004 to 2013, but ceased to exist in 2011. Also, the “Drug Free Forsyth Coalition” never had representatives from the 12 required sectors of the community, rarely held meetings, and lacked the required non-federal matching funds. Regas continued to file renewals for the grant. SAMHSA concluded they sent about $125,000 a year to Regas.
“Regas stole over $600,000 in grant funds intended to fight youth substance abuse,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Rather than steering young people away from drug abuse, she lined her own pocket. Not only did the federal government lose grant funds, but those intended to benefit were cheated as well.”
The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office aided SAMHSA, Office of the Inspector General and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation in the case.
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