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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 1, 2009
Former Political Action Committee Contractor Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Funds

Melissa Thomas, 34, pleaded guilty today to one count of forgery in connection with a scheme to embezzle more than $17,000 from a political action committee (PAC), which was a client of her employer. Thomas pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer in the District of Columbia.

According to documents filed with the court, Thomas was employed by a fund-raising consulting firm located in Alexandria, Va. The consulting firm managed the bank account of a PAC for which the consulting firm’s owner served as treasurer.

From approximately February 2007 until January 2008, Thomas was responsible for accounting for checks received to and dispersed from the PAC’s bank account and for reconciling the monthly bank statements. From approximately March 2007 to November 2007, Thomas admitted she wrote 10 checks from the PAC’s bank account, made out to either herself or her employer, which she fraudulently signed with the treasurer’s name. Thomas admitted she then deposited these checks into her personal bank account, thereby obtaining approximately $17,825 to which she was not entitled.

The charge to which Thomas pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 3, 2009.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Ethan H. Levisohn and Marc Levin of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, which is headed by William M. Welch, II. The case was investigated by the FBI.

Factual Basis

Plea Agreement

09-537
Criminal Division
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