ATLANTA — A former high-ranking inspector with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has pleaded guilty to making more than 325 purchases totaling more than $60,000 on government credit cards while working for the GBI.
Forty-six-year-old Sandra J. Stevens, also known as Sandra Putnam, has been a special agent in charge of the GBI's Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit as well as an inspector in the Investigative Division. She has worked for the GBI for 21 years.
Stevens was arrested on August 18, 2016 after an internal audit and criminal investigation found irregularities in purchase card transactions. Stevens resigned from the GBI at the time of her arrest.
"Sandra Stevens took an oath to uphold the laws of the state of Georgia. Instead, she violated the public’s trust when she defrauded the government for personal gain. Public corruption will not be tolerated in Georgia and the GBI remains committed to working with our federal partners in these types of investigations," said Interim GBI Director Scott Dutton.
According to a release from US Attorney Byung J. Pak, an internal audit indicated that between 2013 and 2016, Stevens used her state-issued Visa Purchasing Credit Card (P-Card) issued by the state and the cards of other GBI employees for more than 325 unauthorized purchases for her personal benefit and for others, including a seven-piece dining set for more than $500, a two chaise lounge chairs for $400, and a 65-inch ultra HD smart television for $1,600.
Stevens submitted altered receipts to the GBI in which she changed the description of the items purchased, the addresses to which items were shipped, or both the description and shipping address. In total, the purchases added up to over $60,000.
On May 8, 2018, a grand jury charged Stevens with four counts of mail fraud and three counts of federal program theft. On Thursday, January 3, 2019, Stevens pleaded guilty to mail fraud.