By Monica Land
VICKSBURG – A woman charged with going door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies with a fake order form has been ordered to live at a restitution center and complete a drug and alcohol counseling program.
Warren County authorities said 37-year-old Paula Kelly kept about $1,000 after taking fake orders from unsuspecting customers in February and March who thought they were buying cookies.
Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said Kelly has no affiliation whatsoever with the Girl Scouts of America.
According to the Clarion Ledger, Kelly was charged with grand larceny in June. She appeared in court this week.
According to the Mississippi Department of Corrections’ website, restitution center residents are “required to work and pay full or partial payments to crime victims,” the Clarion Ledger reported.
Becky Traweek, CEO of Girls Scouts of Greater Mississippi told WAPT that they made good on all of the fraudulent purchases and delivered cookies to the victims of Kelly‘s scam.
She said the Girl Scouts cookie program is one of the largest financial literacy programs in the country and described the incident as “very unfortunate.”
Traweek said they have internal controls to prevent this from happening again.
“Through this unfortunate situation it is our hope that, in the future, anyone that would ever think about doing something like this would think twice. We appreciate all of the support of the community and we have made good with everyone who had purchased cookies,” she told WAPT.
Traweek said the money used to cover the cookies given to victims came from the scouts’ operation budget and said it will not affect directly the girls.