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KUT News Staff
Guilty Plea in Family Connections Case
The former executive director of the non-profit Family Connections (now defunct) pleaded guilty this morning to theft. Prosecutors say Louanne Aponte stole more than a million dollars while heading up the organization that served thousands of children and families.
Family Connections has since shut down. Aponte also pleaded guilty to stealing from Hyde Park Christian Church and the Texas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. A sentencing date has not been set.
KUT News reported when Aponte turned herself in to authorities in December after having fled the country to Venezuela. You can read more about that here.
The Austin American-Statesman reports Aponte led Family Connections for over a decade.
Prosecutors say that during that time, she spent the nonprofit’s money on personal items including her Circle C home, her car and a boat. Aponte perpetuated the fraud, they say, by providing phony audits to grantors and her board of directors.
Aponte had been charged with six felonies, including theft and tampering with a governmental record.
Aponte had been living in South America since sometime after February of last year, when she walked out of Family Connections in the middle of a state financial audit that concluded she had fabricated financial audits for several years