A former deputy assistant inspector general of D.C. was sentenced to 180 in jail for fraud and making false statements, the U.S. Attorney and the Inspector General for the District of Columbia announced.
Cheryl L. Ferrara was sentenced to 12 months probation on each count, fined $1,000, and ordered to work 100 hours of community service.
She admitted misusing money from the Association of Inspectors General where she was the treasurer. Investigators found she often used the AIG account for personal purposes, including paying herself an advance.
The 46-year-old Silver Spring woman went through an elaborate scheme to help a friend fake D.C. residency. That way, Ferrara's friend Anurak Duangphut would receive preferential treatment on her job application at Ferrera’s office.
Ferrara told Duangphut to apply for the position at the D.C. inspector general’s office. Under D.C. rules, an applicant who lives in the District is selected over a non-resident if both are equally qualified.
Ferrara told her friend which documents she’d need and to list a friend of Ferrera’s as her purported landlord. She put a fake notarization on Duangphut’s false lease when it was initially rejected.
The two women opened a bank account in Duangphut’s name to fake rent checks. Ferrara put money into the account so it would look like Duangphut had income. She took some of that money from AIG’s account, which she had access to as the group’s treasurer.
Duangphut received the residency preference, was hired and then worked under Ferrara. Ferrara said she helped her friend because she wanted to hire her.
Ferrara pleaded guilty in March. Under the plea agreement, Ferrara has to notify agencies that issued her government security clearance and her CPA license.
She also has to inform supervisors at her most recent job with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. She resigned from that position this month.
Duangphut also pleaded guilty to a charge of filing false statements and was ordered to pay $3,403 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.