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Feds: Money for needy kids went to pay off personal credit cards

Cindy E. Brady was director of a Mecklenburg County DSS program called The Giving Tree. The program buys Christmas presents for needy kids. Brady also used the program to enrich herself from 2007 to 2009, according to federal prosecutors. The U.S. Attorney's office announced yesterday that Brady, who resigned last August, has agreed to plead guilty to three counts of embezzlement. A federal Bill of Information says that Brady used about $30,000 in Giving Tree money to pay off credit cards, then created fake receipts in an attempt to document that money was property spent. The document also says that up to $112,222 in Brady's property is subject to forfeiture. Last year a county audit couldn't account for about $162,000 in Giving Tree spending. County Commission Chair Jennifer Roberts read a brief statement on the matter at Tuesday night's commission meeting. "Because this audit could not determine whether misappropriation of funds had occurred, the matter was turned over to law enforcement for further investigation The board is please that the law enforcement investigation will result injustice being served regarding Ms. Brady's wrongdoing." Brady had previously denied any wrongdoing. Brady repaid the county $33,000 in February and March of 2009.