The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 2, 2013

Former poverty group head, daughter charged in Ala


Associated Press

— BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say the former head of a Jefferson County poverty agency and her daughter have agreed to plead guilty in a nearly $500,000 theft.

Authorities say 63-year-old Ruth Gayle Cunningham has agreed to repay $492,195 to the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, where she was director for more than 20 years before quitting in March.

Her 31-year-old daughter, Kelli E. Caufield, agreed to repay $253,499 to the agency.

Prosecutors said Friday the women have agreed to plead guilty to stealing money from a government program that receives federal assistance.

Authorities say Caufield prepared false invoices that her mother submitted to the agency to get money she wasn't due.

Two men from are charged in a mortgage fraud scheme that led to the fraud being uncovered.