Child Welfare Board President pleads guilty to felony Misapplication of Fiduciary Property and Theft
Today, June 25, 2019, Montgomery County Child Welfare Board and Orphan Care Solutions President Terri Elaine Jaggers pled guilty to the offenses of Misapplication of Fiduciary Property (3rd Degree Felony) and Theft (Class ‘A’ Misdemeanor) in the 9th District Court, Judge Phil Grant presiding.
In late 2018, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office – Public Integrity Division received information about alleged criminal misconduct and misapplication of funds by Terri Jaggers in her role as President of a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Orphan Care Solutions of Texas. Public Integrity investigators and prosecutors, with assistance from the Texas Rangers and FBI, began a criminal investigation.
During the course of this criminal investigation, numerous records were acquired and multiple individuals were interviewed. Additionally, on May 31, 2019, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at the Jaggers residence to collect additional evidence. The investigation uncovered that Terri Jaggers, as President of Orphan Care Solutions, misapplied and stole Orphan Care Solutions nonprofit funds for her personal gain and benefit. Specifically, Terri Jaggers purchased, with Orphan Care Solutions funds, a standby Generac generator for her personal home ($19,983.55), an Outdoor Kitchen for her home ($5,742.97), an Outdoor Fireplace for her home ($4,226.38), a Carnival Cruise for her herself ($3,897.61), a trip to Israel for herself and her husband ($9,761.56), and jewelry for herself ($1,000). Based on these personal purchases and trips with Orphan Care Solutions nonprofit funds, Terri was charged with the criminal offenses of Misapplication of Fiduciary Property and Theft.
The mission of Orphan Care Solutions of Texas, formally established by Terri Jaggers as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2015, was to “bridge the needs of Texas’ foster children to the gifts/talents of The Church.” Since its inception, Orphan Care Solutions (OCS) has received thousands of dollars in donations and grant funds from churches, individuals, foundations, and other donors to “recruit and retain foster families, provide “normalcy” for children and caregivers, provide permanency for foster children, provide opportunities for children aging out of foster care, and provide resources for kinship care for kids in CPS custody.” According to the Orphan Care Solutions bylaws and state law, funds obtained by OCS could only be spent for these specific and limited purposes and Terri Jaggers was not entitled to a salary or any form of compensation.
In addition to her role as President of Orphan Care Solutions of Texas, Terri Jaggers served as President of the Montgomery County Child Welfare Board and Montgomery County CPS Board. These County Boards are responsible for the protective services programs for children of Montgomery County through agreements with Montgomery County Commissioner’s Court and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS or commonly called “CPS). The Montgomery County Child Welfare and CPS Boards combined receive over $175,000.00 per year of Montgomery County funds to support their missions. During the course of this investigation it was discovered that over $100,000.00 of those Montgomery County dollars were given to Orphan Care Solutions to disburse in its work. Consequently, some of those County funds were used by Terri Jaggers to make these personal purchases.
Terri Jaggers also served as the Executive Director and Board Member of Hope’s Path, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, that seeks to support underprivileged youth aging out of the foster care system by providing transitional living and individual personal development. Terri Jaggers also served as the President of the Texas Foster Family Association and with an organization called Pay It Forward at Sam Houston State University. Terri is also employed as a professor at Sam Houston State University.
As part of a plea agreement, Terri Jaggers was sentenced to the following:
Misapplication of Fiduciary Property (3rd Degree Felony):
- 7 Years Deferred Adjudication Probation – 9th District Court
- Pay a $1,000.00 Fine / Serve 3 Days in the Montgomery County Jail
- Resign from all leadership Board positions, including the Montgomery County Child Welfare and CPS Boards, Hope’s Path, Pay It Forward, and the Texas Foster Family Association
- Pay $43,612.07 in Restitution to the Montgomery County CPS Board
- Pay $47,703.27 in Orphan Care Solutions remaining funds to the Montgomery County CPS Board
- Formally dissolve and terminate Orphan Care Solutions as a organization and 501(c)3 nonprofit
- Purchase a Generac Standby Generator (approximately value of $20,000.00) for Hope’s Path
- Transfer remaining Orphan Care Solutions vehicles and tangible property to Hope’s Path
- Agree to no future leadership involvement in 501(c)3 nonprofits or child welfare/orphan care/or foster care organizations
Theft (Class ‘A’ Misdemeanor):
- Straight Conviction / Serve 3 Days in the Montgomery County Jail
The plea today concludes this investigation and criminal case. Terri Jaggers was represented by Conroe defense attorney Tay Bond.
“There are over 700 children in CPS custody right now in Montgomery County. Most of these kids have experienced extremely difficult situations and trauma. Fortunately, in Montgomery County, we have many churches, corporations, and individuals willing to step up to help these kids – by serving as foster parents, volunteering their time and talents, and/or by making financial contributions to organizations who directly serve these kids. Many of these individuals gave their hard earned money to Orphan Care Solutions and Terri Jaggers in complete trust that those funds would be used to help the foster children in our area. Unfortunately, Terri Jaggers decided to use these funds for her own benefit to purchase luxury items for herself and home and take extravagant trips. We now understand why Terri Jaggers fought so hard to control every aspect of this work in Montgomery County – to cover up her criminal conduct.”Tyler Dunman, Special Crimes Bureau Chief
“All too often, when there is a lack of effective oversight in nonprofits and governmental boards, individuals take advantage of people and resources for their own benefit. I am confident after these events, the Montgomery County Judge and Commissioners Court will thoroughly review the child welfare board membership, bylaws, and processes for Montgomery County. It’s time for a fresh start with new leadership and a new beginning as we all work to ensure the vulnerable children in Montgomery County CPS custody have everything they need to succeed in life.”Brett Ligon (District Attorney):
Source: J. Tyler Dunman, Assistant District Attorney. Chief, Special Crimes Bureau, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office