PINE BLUFF, Ark. — The former Director of Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency is facing serious allegations of defrauding the city out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Public court records show that 43-year-old Maurice Taggart faces 85 felony charges, filed on June 1, 2023.
The charges include 46 counts of second-degree forgery, 38 counts of theft of property, and one count of abuse of office.
Taggart led the Urban Renewal Agency for four years. The agency was created by the city council to tear down blighted properties in Pine Bluff.
Documents claimed that Taggart and another man, identified as Roderick Morris of Texas, submitted fake invoices for an asbestos cleanup that prosecutors claimed never happened.
The invoices, totaling $667,000 dollars, were paid by the City of Pine Bluff.
Taggart and Morris allegedly swindled Urban Renewal out of more than $667,394 between May 2019 and August 2021.
Taggart resigned from the agency one month later.