Former Cape Girardeau women's shelter director pleads guilty to - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Former Cape Girardeau women's shelter director pleads guilty to theft

Allison Leonard Allison Leonard
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

A former director of the Safe House for Women in Cape Girardeau pleaded guilty to theft/stealing on Monday.

Allison Christine Leonard pleaded guilty to theft after police say she used more than $20,000 in funds designated for the not-for-profit domestic violence agency to go on shopping trips and pay bills.

Leonard was charged with theft/stealing (value of property or services is $500 or more but less than $25,000). A second count of fraudulent use of a credit/debit device was dismissed.

Her sentencing is set for Sept. 21.

Leonard was appointed the director of the Safe House for Women in November 2013. After she was appointed, she was issued a Visa credit card from US Bank for the Safe House. After she was issued the card, she began using it for personal use, according to court documents.

Leonard is accused of using the credit card to pay for her car insurance, car payment, taxes on a vehicle, her son's college tuition, and a Sprint wireless payment. She is also accused of using the card for shopping trips to Kohls, Academy Sports, Amazon, Walmart.com, Rhodes 101 and other businesses throughout Cape Girardeau.

Most of the funds from that card are made up of donations to the Safe House, according to court documents.

After Leonard was fired, staff found credit card statements that were maintained by Leonard in her office. Transactions and cash advances had been whited out and a photocopy placed in the file for audit purposes, according to the probable cause statement. An auditing firm found those statements with large sections missing and alerted a board member about the suspicious statements. 

After she was confronted, Leonard admitted to two different board members that she had used the card and Safe House funds to pay for the transactions, according the probable cause statement.

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