DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A former senior corporal with the Dallas Police Department and head of Dallas Crime Stoppers has pled guilty to conspiracy and tax charges.
Theodora Ross was arrested in January of 2011, after working for Dallas Crime Stoppers from 2003 to 2010.
At the time it was alleged that Ross and another woman, Malva Delley, had collected some $250,000 in rewards for bogus tips to the Crime Stoppers program. Investigators said the women had been running the scam for more than five years.
Today Ross, a Rowlett resident, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of willfully attempting to evade assessment of income taxes.
In plea documents Ross admits to conspiring to defraud the North Texas Crime Commission (NTCC), which funds Dallas Crime Stoppers.
In 2011, Russell Verney, the NTCC executive director, said a series of events raised a ‘red flag’ about Crime Stoppers rewards. Verney said a legitimate tipster called him and said something was wrong.
“An individual went to pick-up his authorized tip at the bank,” Verney explained, “and was told that somebody had preceded him, and had his secret number and his secret code word.”
According to Ross’ statement she would determine which anonymous crime tips would be receiving cash rewards and include bogus tips that she created. Ross would provide the bogus tip information to Delley, who then collected the cash rewards.
Delley, Ross’s co-defendant in the case, pled guilty in May of 2011, to one count of conspiracy to make a false statement to a financial institution.
At the time of her arrest Ross was a 26-year Dallas Police Department veteran. Today the 52-year-old remains free on bond.
The guilty pleas mean Ross now faces up to 25 years in prison and fines totaling as much as $350,000 and restitution could also be ordered.
Ross is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
Officials with the NTCC say after several changes in their procedures Crime Stoppers continues to receive anonymous tips and pay cash rewards.
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