Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Washington State Municipal Water Clerk Indicted For Embezzling At Least $350K

Former Lake Forest Park Water Clerk Indicted for Embezzlement

The former employee, Jackee Bormann-Zweekhorst, faces Federal charges wire fraud charges for allegedly falsifying documents for personal gain of more than $350,000.
ByJeanne Gustafson

March 29, 2013

The former Office Manager of the Lake Forest Park Water District is being arraigned today on an indictment charging fifteen counts of wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. Jackee Bormann-Zweekhorst, 40, is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:30 today. The indictment alleges that Bormann-Zweekhorst used a variety of schemes to embezzle more than $350,000 from the small water district between 2004 and 2011.

According to the indictment, Bormann-Zweekhorst was responsible for submitting bills to King County for reimbursement from water district funds. Bormann-Zweekhorst was supposed to prepare the vouchers and supporting documents for the water district commissioners to review and approve. The approved vouchers then went to King County for payment.

Ms. Bormann-Zweekhorst is alleged to have committed fraud through a variety of means. On multiple occasions Bormann-Zweekhorst allegedly falsified time cards so that her children were paid for work never performed for the water district. The amount of money claimed via the falsified time cards was in excess of $100,000.

The inconsistencies were first uncovered by a state audit of the Water District, which the district cooperated with, resulting in an investigation by Lake Forest Police and subsequent termination of Bormann-Zweekhorst by the district.

The second aspect of the scheme involved the use of the water district credit card. Bormann-Zweekhorst used the card to pay for personal items and then caused the payment of water district funds to pay the bill. Some of the expenses she billed to the water district card included college tuition for her child, hot tub parts and service, boating and automotive equipment, fishing gear and rental car expenses. The amount of fraud on the water district credit card exceeded $90,000. The final aspect of fraud was having the water district pay for personal items purchased with her American Express card and for other personal expenses, by claiming the expenses were work-related, when in fact, they were not. Many of the receipts submitted for reimbursement were fabricated to support purchases that never occurred. Bormann-Zweekhorstsought reimbursement for more than $70,000 in personal items and for items never purchased through this aspect of the fraud.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Lake Forest Park Police Department. Significant assistance is being provided by the Washington State Auditor’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs.

From the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Patch 

Hat tip: FraudTalk readers Julie and Joe

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