Couple allegedly used USAID money to fix home, buy cars

The U.S. Agency for International Development logo. Photo by: Lance Cheung / U.S. Department of Agriculture / CC BY

A former deputy director of a private U.S. Agency for International Development contractor and his wife were accused Tuesday (April 10) of stealing more than $1 million from a program meant for HIV and AIDS treatment.

Mark Adams and Latasha Bell were charged with one count of conspiracy, 10 counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud, seven counts of theft, one count of conspiracy to launder money and two counts of aggravated identity theft. They are accused of using USAID funds to renovate their home and purchase luxury vehicles.

The indictment says Adams used his position at an unidentified private USAID contractor to channel funds to his wife and friends via false and fraudulent invoices between 2005 and 2010. The invoices claimed to pay for services provided by Bell and Adams’ friends’ companies. The mentioned services, however, were “not provided.”

Investigation on the case is ongoing. One of Adams’ friends, Everett Lipscomb Jr., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to wire fraud and related forfeiture allegations. The accused husband and wife, however, pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

The indictment was filed at the U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.