LawFuel – Law Newswire – Federal agents from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG) this morning arrested a former employee of the United States Forest Service on charges of embezzling more than $1.4 million from the agency.
Kathy Stamps, 36, of Rancho Cucamonga, who until September 2004 was an accountant with the Forest Service, was arrested pursuant to an indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury in Wednesday. The indictment accuses Stamps of three counts of mail fraud.
The indictment alleges that between January 2002 and October 2004, she used her employment with the US Forest Service to steal $1,421,390.39, which was later deposited into her personal bank accounts.
The USDA-OIG began investigating Stamps shortly after she left her position as an accountant at the Angeles National Forest offices in Arcadia. After Stamps left her job, fellow employees noticed that she had redirected $1,421,390.39 from Forest Service accounts to an account in the name of DKLD Corporation. It was later discovered that DKLD was a company owned by Stamps and her husband.
The indictment alleges that Stamps used her position as a Forest Service accountant to request that Treasury Checks backed by money allocated for privately funded public works projects in the Angeles National Forest be sent to DKLD via US Mail. Stamps allegedly had the Treasury Checks sent to a mailbox she opened in her name.
Stamps is making her initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
Each of the three counts of mail fraud carry a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
The indictment also contains a criminal forfeiture count that seeks to recoup all of the money misappropriated by Stamps.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Douglas M. Miller