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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Texas Parole Officer Is in the Soup

DALLAS (CN) - A Texas parole officer demanded cash and gifts from an oil and gas investment fraudster under her supervision, federal prosecutors say.

A federal grand jury charged Nichelle Derricks with honest services wire fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Derricks worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a parole officer in Region II, Dallas District I.

Prosecutors say that from April 2008 to March 2010, an unidentified parolee under her supervision formed and ran a fraudulent oil and gas company in Dallas.

"Person A and others engaged in a scheme to deceive and defraud individuals across the United States who invested in oil and gas royalty interests purportedly held by Company A," the 10-page indictment states. "The scheme involved, among other things, making false and misleading statements and omissions to potential Company A investors and misusing the funds paid by investors to Company A for the enrichment of Person A and others."

Prosecutors said Derricks solicited bribes from the parolee in exchange for "favorable official action." They say she looked the other way while the parolee traveled out of state without approval and engaged in prohibited financial transactions, among other things.

"Derricks solicited and accepted from Person A money and other things of value without the authorization, knowledge or approval of TDCJ and contrary to TDCJ procedure and requirements," the indictment states. "These include, but are not limited to, cash payments, new and used furniture, other household goods and items, gifts, and meals and drinks."

Prosecutors said Derricks allowed the parolee to hold their supervision meetings at bars and restaurants instead of at her TDCJ office or the parolee's home.

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