[Christa Ann] McClure, 51, pleaded not guilty Feb. 6 in federal District Court in Montana to eight counts of theft and fraud from a nonprofit housing agency in Billings.
She was indicted Jan. 16 and notified her current Denver employer, the state-sponsored health exchange, on Monday, a few days after the story broke in Montana media, Connect for Health spokesman Ben Davis said in a telephone interview.
Connect for Health performed a criminal background check and checked references before hiring McClure in March, Davis said.
“She was completely clean,” he said. Her position as executive director of Housing Montana of Billings, he said, made her well-qualified for her post as Connect for Health’s director of partner engagement — she was liaison with state and federal partners, such as Medicaid officials. The job pays $130,000 a year.
… McClure, who has not been convicted of any charges, should have informed Connect for Health much earlier of the accusations she was facing, Davis said.
McClure was released pending trial, now scheduled for June. Each of the counts in the indictment against her carry potential penalties of five, 10 or 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
The 12-page indictment alleges that, while serving as executive director of the federally funded Housing Montana, McClure, between 2008 and 2010, paid herself “significant sums” for consulting services, although she was already on the payroll as a full-time employee.
She also made payments to her family and used federal money for personal travel, to pay family bills and to buy consulting services, the indictment alleges.
She also is accused of charging homeowners for a $750 warranty that did not exist, converting a laptop for personal use, inflating the hours she was to be compensated and writing herself a $21,000 check to which she was not entitled.
The indictment did not specify the total amount she allegedly embezzled.