Oct 13, 2010 9:54 PM by Alison Haynes
MANSFIELD, La. (AP) - A DeSoto Parish grand jury on Wednesday indicted the former director of the DeSoto Council on Aging, three members of her family and a board member on charges they took thousands of dollars from the social-service agency and used the money for themselves.
The grand jury returned a 27-count indictment, formally charging the defendants with theft and conspiracy.
Facing 20 of the counts is Martha Jones, the fired executive director of the agency; her husband, Roy Jones, faces three counts; her son, Byron Laneaux, faces four counts; his wife, LaShelle Laneaux, faces two counts as does board member George Thomas.
District Judge Charles Adams set bond at $5,000 for each count each faces. The defendants have until 10 a.m. Thursday to turn themselves in to authorities at the DeSoto Detention Center.
The investigation of alleged misuse of public funds began in January. It was sparked by an audit a year ago that questioned suspicious payments and spending.