A former senior corporal with the Dallas Police Department received 46 months in federal prison for defrauding the Dallas Crime Stoppers office and evading federal income tax, the FBI announced.
Theadora Ross pleaded guilty in August. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey also ordered her to pay $274,304 in restitution to the North Texas Crime Commission (NTCC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Crime Stoppers is a nationwide program that offers cash rewards for information, from anonymous callers, that leads to the arrest and indictment of criminals. The program guarantees the anonymity of callers. The Dallas Crime Stoppers office is funded by the NTCC with fines levied by the Dallas and Collin County courts, private donations, and fundraising. At the time of the offense, the office was staffed by Dallas PD officers and Dallas County Sheriff's deputies.
Ross worked at the Dallas Crime Stoppers office from 2003 to May 2010 and was the head of that office from March 2006 to May 2010.
From February 2005 to May 2010, Ross and co-conspirator Malva Delley defrauded the NTCC. Ross determined which tips would be presented to the NTCC for cash reward approval; prepared the list of Crime Stoppers cash rewards to be paid each month; and sent the lists to JP Morgan Chase Bank.
These lists contained both bogus tips that Ross had created as part of the scheme and legitimate cash reward tip numbers and code words. Ross provided the bogus tip information to Delley, who then presented that information to the bank and collected cash rewards. Afterwards, Ross and Delley divided the cash. Delley often deposited Ross' share directly into Ross' bank account.
From February 2005 through May 2010, the conspirators collected at least $250,000 in cash rewards for bogus tips, resulting in a loss to the NTCC. No false arrests were made based on Ross' actions.