Charge: Kentucky worker stole $45K from program for kids with health needs

A former state employee stole $45,000 from a program designed to help families of children with special health needs, a federal grand jury has charged.

The grand jury in Lexington indicted Diana L. Baker, 53, last week on one charge of mail fraud, one count of identity theft and four charges of theft.

Baker was an administrative branch manager in what was formerly called the Kentucky Commission for Children with Special Health Needs, which provides money and other services to families, according to the indictment.

Baker, of Louisville, abused her access to the computer system to generate vouchers that purported to reimburse families for out-of-pocket expenses or paid vendors for services to children, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

In reality, the vouchers were fraudulent and sought payment “for disguised personal expenses” of Baker, the indictment charged.

The indictment listed examples of thousands of dollars Baker allegedly requisitioned from the state treasury to pay credit card bills and health providers.

In one case, she got state money to pay a carpenter who had worked on a dock at lakefront property owner by Baker’s family, according to the news release.

The most serious charge against Baker has a maximum sentence of 20 years.