Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Former Program Director For Florida Non-Profit Sentenced To 6 Years For Embezzling $200K To Support Lifestyle

From the Tampa Bay Times on 3/4/14:

Before she sentenced Kimberly Sue Ross, Pinellas Circuit Judge Nancy Moate Ley gave her a history quiz.

Who was James B. Sanderlin? the judge asked.

Ross blotted the tears on her cheeks. She knew that Sanderlin was the first African-American judge in circuit court. She also knew that he was the namesake of the nonprofit organization that provides a wealth of free services to low-income families. It's the same organization from which she admitted embezzling $200,000.

Ross, 47, was sentenced Monday to six years in prison for grand theft from the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center. Her sentence includes a third-degree felony charge from January 2012 for failing to redeliver leased property.

In a case Ley called aggravating, Ross said she was unaware that she wrote 232 fraudulent checks totaling $200,337 in four years. Financial crimes investigator John Pickart said Ross monitored the account balances, wrote checks sequentially with the same dollar amount and even wrote checks directly payable to Progress Energy for her electric bill.

Ross, who worked at the center as a program manager responsible for handling the budget, paying the bills and supervising administration, lived an $80,000 income lifestyle while earning an average annual salary of $40,000.

She spent the money on furniture, fast food, jewelry, an Xbox, bowling, Netflix, a hair salon, cable TV, flowers, Adventure Island, a pet store, and the flea market, Pickart said.

Read the whole story here.

Hat tip: FraudTalk reader Joe.

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