Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Author's Assistant In California Sentenced For Embezzling At Least $768K

Kristy S. Watts, aka Kristy Siegrist, 48, formerly of San Rafael, California, was sentenced to 33 months in prison for wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with her alleged embezzlement of $768,000 from Danielle Steel, the noteworthy San Francisco author for whom she had been employed as a part-time assistant. According to reports, Watts has made restitution for damages and other losses in the amount of $969,752 by selling her home, furnishing and other assets. Watts still owes the IRS $60,677 for back taxes on the ill-gotten gains. We note that Watts is also reportedly married to a San Francisco Police Department Officer. Prosecutors allege the thefts occurred between 1993 and 2008 while Watts handled bookkeeping, payroll, travel arrangements and other administrative tasks for Steel. Watts reportedly wrote herself extra paychecks, used credit card reward points and wrote checks out to "cash" in order to finance a lavish lifestyle, among other misappropriations. She was paid $200,000 a year by Steel, who filed a civil suit against Watts claiming she misappropriated $2.7 million.

Read the story here, here and here.

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