Former Lumberton band booster treasurer faces up to 20 years in prison

Helen Louise Cox

Hardin County grand jurors indicted former Lumberton band booster treasurer Helen Louise Cox for a second-degree felony theft. This new indictment replaces the original, lesser third-degree felony charge. 

A second-degree felony conviction can result in two to 20 years of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.

The indictment filed Feb. 16, alleges that Cox stole between $20,000 and $100,000 from the band booster club’s account from May 25, 2016, to Oct. 18, 2016.

Cox, 46, told police that she gambled in three different states and spent more than $70,800 from the Lumberton Band booster club account over a five-month period to “relieve stress from work and [her] divorce,” according to the probable cause affidavit for her arrest notarized Nov. 30, 2016.

At a press conference in December, Lumberton Police Lieutenant Joseph Breaux said the booster funds were spent in casinos in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Most of the other purchases were made at retailers and ATM withdrawals around the Beaumont area.

Cox had previously been charged with a third-degree felony, “misapplication of fiduciary property.” Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins said that charge is usually punishable with two to 10 years in the state penitentiary and up to a $10,000 fine, as previously reported by The Examiner.

Lumberton Band Boosters President Randy Eason explained at the press conference that now all board members receive statements from the credit union and security alerts for each transaction.

The band boosters held numerous fundraisers at area restaurants and a Go Fund Me to recover from the loss, discovered Oct. 20.

Jan. 3, Wells Fargo presented a $5,000 check and Novrozsky’s employees a $1,140 check at the first band booster club meeting of the year.