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2nd person admits fraud against domestic violence group
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2nd person admits fraud against domestic violence group


A woman charged with misappropriating federal funds in her advocacy work for victims of domestic violence admitted charges on Thursday.

Sheryl Lynn Lawrence, 44, pleaded guilty under a plea deal in U.S. District Court to a single count of theft of federal funds.

Lawrence was originally charged with several counts, including wire fraud, fraudulent travel claims and misprision of a felony, which is the concealment of one's knowledge of a felony.

Lawrence worked as the executive director of the Montana Native Women’s Coalition, an organization dedicated to fighting violence against Native women.

Prosecutors said she and two others wrongly claimed travel money for a trip to Las Vegas in November 2017.

Lawrence received a travel advance for the trip, claiming $1,826.02, according to the government's offer of proof. Lawrence said she drove to Nevada but really flew. Driving had a higher reimbursement rate due to mileage.

The Office on Violence Against Women did not approve the expenses, "nor would it ever have been approved," prosecutors wrote.

Also charged are Barbara Daychief and Meredith McConnell. Daychief pleaded guilty in January. McConnell remains set for trial.

Lawrence's attorney Lisa Bazant did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 


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