A top administrator at the Harris County Treasurer’s Office charged with stealing money from a county credit union told investigators he was using the funds to pay off a dominatrix he met online who was trying to blackmail him, county officials said Friday.
Gregory Wayne Lueb, the second in command at the Harris County Treasurer’s Office, is accused of stealing $35,000 in a check-kiting scheme that left the Harris County Credit Union holding the bag for the cash.
Lueb told investigators he met a dominatrix —a woman who punishes men in sexual situations — named “Mistress Cindy” on a sadomasochism website in 2016.
He said the woman blackmailed him into sending her money from his personal account at the credit union by telling him he’d tell his wife of his indiscretions if he didn’t.
In announcing the felony theft charges Friday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said “Cindy” may or may not be real, but that Lueb had been arrested for a check fraud scheme that ran between August and December 2016.
“We don’t know if the dominatrix exists or not,” Ogg said. “The more salacious points are obvious in Mr. Lueb’s admissions, but whether they are true or not is really beside the point. We know that he was stealing from Harris County employees because it’s our money in the credit union.”
Ogg said Lueb was the target of two investigations: one initiated by the DA’s office and one begun by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. The two probes were combined when investigators realized both agencies were looking into allegations of fraud that linked back to Lueb.
Ogg called for an audit of the treasurer’s office, headed by County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez.
Sanchez said Lueb did not have sole access to county funds. He said well-established safeguards and forms require multiple signatures from different department heads, so he is not worried that Lueb could have embezzled from the treasurer’s office.
“No one person in this county has the ability to move a dime,” he said. “No one person in Harris County has the authority to move money … The important thing is there’s no public funds (involved, no county money.”
Lueb has since been fired. I’ll be interested to see if there are further calls for an audit of the Treasurer’s office. I doubt there would be anything terrible to find, but having to deal with that in an election year probably does not make Orlando Sanchez happy. The last thing he wants is for this to be anything more than a one-day story.