ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – A former City of Atlanta chief financial officer was charged on Wednesday in an eight-count federal indictment.
Jimmie “Jim” A. Beard faces charges of wire fraud, theft from the government, possession of machine guns, making a false statement, and obstructing federal tax laws.
“Jim Beard allegedly abused his position as one of the most powerful executives in the City of Atlanta to commit federal crimes for his own gain, including stealing tens of thousands of dollars of the public’s money, possessing machine guns that members of the public cannot have, and obstructing an IRS audit,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said. “Those in government leadership positions have an obligation to set the organization’s culture for ethical conduct. As alleged by the Grand Jury, Beard fundamentally betrayed that obligation.”
“Jimmie A. Beard systematically defrauded the City of Atlanta and impeded the IRS from assessing his true tax liability,” IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge James E. Dorsey said. “His desire for money, along with the power and luxuries it buys, drove him to allegedly perpetrate crimes violating his position and public trust.”
Beard is accused of carrying out a scheme to obtain money and property from the City of Atlanta for private use, including using City of Atlanta funds: (1) to pay for personal travel expenses for himself, his family, and his travel companions; (2) to buy items for personal use, including two machine guns; (3) to pay for travel to conferences or meetings for which the conference or meeting host reimbursed Beard, but Beard kept the money and did not give the reimbursement funds to the City of Atlanta; and (4) to pay for travel that Beard subsequently claimed to the IRS were travel expenses related to his sole proprietorship consulting work that Beard never disclosed to the City of Atlanta on any Financial Disclosure Statement.
In 2013, Beard earned a salary of approximately $221,108 for his position as CFO for the City of Atlanta.