Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Wednesday the arrest of Laura Lee (Lewis) Taylor, a former Washington County revenue commissioner and former treasurer of the Public Park and Recreation Board of Washington County.
Taylor, 68, is charged with 26 felonies, including first-degree theft of property, identity theft, second-degree criminal possession of forged instruments and attempt to evade or defeat tax.
Taylor turned herself into the Washington County Sheriff’s Office on May 10.
Marshall’s Special Prosecutions Division presented evidence to a Washington County grand jury on May 6 and 7, resulting in Taylor’s indictment.
Taylor is charged with one count of first-degree theft and nine counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument for using her position as treasurer of the Park and Recreation Board to steal more than $600,000 by issuing checks that were not authorized by the Board, which she deposited or cashed herself.
Taylor is also charged with 10 counts of identity theft for using a Board member’s name and identifying information to obtain loans in the Board’s name without approval of the Board and six counts of attempt to evade or defeat tax for failing to pay income tax on the money she stole.
First-degree theft of property and identity theft are class B felonies punishable by two to 20 years in prison. Second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument is a class C felony punishable by one year and one day to 10 years in prison. Attempt to evade or defeat tax is an unclassified felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law before a jury of their peers. Taylor will have the opportunity to present a defense and face her accusers in a court of law.
The head of the AG’s Special Prosecutions Division is former federal prosecutor A. Clark Morris.