Two robbery using embezzlement and reputable misconduct fees had been recently filed in opposition to a Montana Correctional Enterprises worker who allegedly used the country budget to buy higher than $200 worth of car parts, which he then directed Montana State Prison inmates to install in his automobiles, court docket documents say. As a result, four misdemeanor expenses have been filed against Ross L. Wagner on March 28 in Powell County District Court. According to the affidavit filed within the case, Wagner worked for Montana Correctional Enterprises, a department of the kingdom Department of Corrections that operates at the side of the Montana State Prison.
MCE each employs and trains kingdom prison inmates to carry out various jobs, aiming to maintain them lively and engaged simultaneously as incarcerated. Exactly a yr earlier than the charges were filed, on March 28, 2018, Wagner allegedly used MCE finances to purchase gas pumps, and an interlock trailer ball from the NAPA Auto Parts keep in Deer Lodge a value of $139.45 for use in his private vehicle. He then directed inmates hired via MCE to put the gas pumps into two cars he owned, the affidavit says.
A day later, Wagner allegedly bought another gas pump from the NAPA store for $82.33 and once more directed MCE inmate workers to put it into one in all his vehicles, the affidavit states. Wagner had supervisory manage over inmates concerned with MCE, the affidavit says, and changed into accountable for inmate painting assignments and ensuring inmates have been abiding via both kingdom jail and MCE policies at the time the alleged embezzlement occurred.
The affidavit additionally notes Wagner did no longer have permission from MCE to buy the three gas pumps or the trailer ball for his automobiles and that he did not use the motors for work functions. Five months later, Wagner tried to add a spark plug and spark plug wires for a private car no longer used at MCE to an existing MCE vehicle parts order from the NAPA shop. The affidavit says every other MCE employee made Wagner aware of this suspicious buy. Wagner then reportedly paid for and blamed NAPA for placing this personal buy at the MCE order.
The Montana Division of Criminal Investigation acquired a referral on Oct. Eight from the Montana Legislative Audit Division, which reportedly suspected Wagner misused MCE finances, in step with John Strandell, the DCI investigations bureau leader. The Legislative Audit Division conducts impartial audits via the Legislative Audit Act to provide reliable records to state legislators and the public to improve the responsibility and compliance of kingdom organizations, among different desires. Strandell stated Montana statute calls for the audit department to document any suspected crook hobby to the DCI.
Based on the info the DCI investigations bureau acquired from the Legislative Audit Division, Strandell stated it unfolded joint research with the DOC’s Investigations Bureau and assigned a DCI agent to the case. According to the affidavit, the DCI agent interviewed Wagner approximately both purchase orders flagged as suspicious. Wagner informed the agent he did not apprehend the first purchase order and denied that the pumps went into his motors. When requested approximately the second purchase order, Wagner advised the agent he bought the third pump together with his cash but admitted to installing inmate labor to install it on his non-public vehicle, the affidavit says. Strandell confirmed that the DCI and DOC joint investigation into the suspicious MCE purchases is closed, and they lately submitted their investigative record to the Powell County Attorney’s workplace.