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New Orleans woman pleads guilty to embezzling $150,000 from educational grant program

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NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans woman pleaded guilty to stealing $150,000 from a federally funded educational grant program.

Multiple news outlets report 52-year-old Kim Cassell, who was executive director of Open World Services Inc., pleaded guilty to a count of theft from a program receiving federal funds Wednesday.

Cassell admitted to stealing over $100,000 dollars from the organization over three years ending in 2012. Cassell says she falsified invoices and other documents and spent money earmarked for children on personal travel, veterinary care and on friends and family.

Cassell formed Open World as a nonprofit agency in 2003. The organization, with a stated aim of helping students in New Orleans grow academically, collected about $1.3 million over the three years ending when Cassell dissolved the agency voluntarily in 2012.

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