Special FBI agent continues testimony entering week two in Diggl - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Special FBI agent continues testimony entering week two in Diggles family trial

Photo: KTRE Staff Photo: KTRE Staff
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

The prosecution continued to cross examine a special FBI agent on Monday in the trial involving Walter Diggles, Rosie Diggles, and Anita Diggles, all facing allegations of embezzlement.

Special FBI agent David Goodman confirmed to a jury inside a federal courthouse in downtown Lufkin of documents obtained from Anita Diggles’ computer. Goodman said the flyers, several Excel spreadsheets, and a resume showed evidence of “money which ceased to flow” by 2012 from The Social Services Block Grant and hurricane money from the government.

Goodman said the documents were all last modified by Anita Diggles on a computer in her office. An Excel spreadsheet documented hours worked per employee, and rate of pay for a summer program offered at a community learning center in Jasper. The document showed Anita Diggles earning $1,615 for 95 hours of work and Rosie Diggles’ earning $1,615 for 95 hours of work for a period of two weeks. However, the document also showed Keith Diggles, Walter Diggles’ brother, earning $1,000 for zero hours of working.

The resume, found by authorities, was of Rosie Diggles. It showed she worked from “2007 to present” at the community learning center holding several positions including Director of Administration, accountant and bookkeeper.

Another summer program flyer was used during cross-examination from the prosecution. Goodman said it was an electronic form of evidence collected to show money funneling from the government was drying up. Goodman said by 2013 there was no more federal money or grant money, and as a result, the flyer showed transportation charges which were more than previous years “almost three times that much per hour.”

Next, the prosecution asked Goodman about bank records he obtained during the investigation. Goodman said it was a list of “some” of the expenditures.

“These would have been expenditures which would have benefited the church,” Goodman said. He said it was not all of the expenditures because he used words from the checks’ memo lines to determine which to include in his summary.

Walter Diggles’ defense lawyer Ryan Gertz challenged the standing authority of how Goodman determined which expenditures to include in the summary saying Goodman didn’t use an expert and if offering only his judgment. The judge, however, allowed Goodman to continue answering the prosecution’s questions about the records.

Goodman said government money funneling into the foundation account was used to buy vans under the name of the church, utilities to the city of Jasper, rent, and phone system services. Several transfers to the youth department were also made.

“That’s the time-frame of the funds coming from the Deep East Texas Foundation to the church accounts,” Goodman said referring to the time period January 2007 to December 2012.

In addition, several transactions funneled in and out from the church main account. Goodman said when parishioners would put in money into the church account, he said they would put tithe money or offerings in the check memo.

“Source to the youth department money came from the government to the foundation,” Goodman said. “Money came from the SSBG Bill, or the federal government, to the foundation.”

Last week, Goodson stated that he had investigated the financial activity of the foundation, following these deposits from DETCOG. Multiple copies from deposit slips showed that, only a few days after the foundation had deposited the DETCOG check, large amounts of money would be taken out of the foundation’s account and placed into the account of the Lighthouse Church of God in Christ.

According to Goodson’s investigation, the foundation held a conference in 2012, called the East Texas Fellowship Conference, at the church. Health screenings were held, so the foundation requested money to cover these and other expenses. Other costs on the reimbursement sheet included test strips, conference registration, and miscellaneous supplies. The supplies totaled $112.16 and was paid for directly out of pocket by the foundation. The rest of the costs were reimbursed by DETCOG, which equaled $12,746.16.

On that same reimbursement sheet, Fayes Home Health was listed as incurring $7,500 from the foundation. A check was written out to that entities name. But, documents from the First National Bank of Jasper show that Diggles endorsed the check and placed it in the church’s accounts. It was also found out that Fayes Home Health is owned by Diggles’ sister.

The U.S. government’s attorney also brought up another reimbursement packet, labeled “2009 close-out of SSBG funding”, where $244,570.34 was given to the foundation.

Bank documents showed that, on October 17 of that year, the money was deposited into the foundation’s account. On October 26 of that same year, Diggles took $125,000 out of the foundation’s account and placed it into the church’s account. On February 12, 2010, Diggles took $50,000 out of the foundation’s account and turned it into a certificate of deposit in the church’s name. On February 14, 2011, Diggles used $25,000 of the $50,000 CD to purchase another CD for that amount. The other $25,000 was cashed out and placed in the church’s account. In 2012, the remaining CD of $25,000 was also cashed out and placed in the church.

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