Diana Baker, 53, of Louisville and a former employee of the Kentucky Commission (now Office) for Children with Special Care Needs, was sentenced this month to 30 months by U.S. District Judge Greg Van Tatenhove on federal charges of mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and four counts of theft from the state agency.
Baker was a 28-year employee of the commission, which is an agency within the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services that assists families with children with special health care needs in obtaining funding and care.
According to the plea agreement, between 2007 and 2018, Baker, who was an administrative branch manager in the Louisville office, manipulated software programs, to generate fraudulent payment vouchers, which purported to reimburse the families of special needs children for out of pocket expenses or pay third party vendors for services to children. These vouchers were sent in the regular course of business to the Kentucky State Treasurer’s Office, which issued checks that were actually used to make payments on Baker’s credit card accounts, to pay doctors and dentists for services to Baker’s family, and, in one instance, to pay a carpenter for work on a dock for lakefront property owned by Baker. The amount of the alleged theft is approximately $45,000.
Under federal law, Baker must serve 85% of her prison sentence and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.
Robert M. Duncan Jr., U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and James Robert Brown, Jr., special agent in charge, Louisville Field Office, jointly made the announcement.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Taylor was the prosecutor in the case.