Indictments issued in UCDD case

Three former officials of the Upper Cumberland Development District have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Nashville.

Former UCDD executive director Wendy Askins and former assistant director Larry Webb are charged with conspiracy, embezzle-ment, bank fraud, unlawful monetary transactions and making false statements.

DeKalb County Mayor Mike Foster, who once served as chair of the Cookeville-based UCDD board, was also indicted along with Askins for making false statements to the agency's board of directors.

The charges are based around the alleged misappropriation of $670,000 in federal funds, along with the securing of loans from two banks, for Living the Dream, a home for needy seniors that, the indictment says, was owned by Askins and Webb.

UCDD was created by the Tennessee General Assembly to provide regional planning and assistance to the following counties:  Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren and White.