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FORMER EMPLOYEE OF U.S. FOREST SERVICE SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR EMBEZZLING $1.4 MILLION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES – A former employee of the United States Forest Service who embezzled more than $1.4 million from the agency has been sentenced to serve four years in federal prison.

Kathy Stamps, 39, of Rancho Cucamonga, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder. In addition to the 48-month prison term, Judge Snyder ordered Stamps to pay restitution in the amount of $1,090,744, which represents the portion of the embezzled money that Stamps had spent.

Stamps was an accountant with the Forest Service at the Angeles National Forest offices in Arcadia. Through her job, Stamps had access to funds contributed by private entities for road construction and other projects on federal lands. From early 2002 through October 2004, Stamps fraudulently manipulated and fabricated internal Forest Service records that caused the United States Treasury to issue six refund checks totaling $1,421,390 to entities that Stamps controlled. Stamps spent nearly $1.1 million on personal items that included cars, jewelry, mortgage payments and plastic surgery. When the embezzlement was discovered, the government was able to seize $330,645 from Stamps’ bank accounts.

During the nearly three years that she was embezzling money from the United States, Stamps “exhibited a complete disregard for the law,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. Stamps “carefully planned and executed her scheme, as evidenced by her manipulations of various internal records of the Angeles National Forest accounting office. [Stamps] abused the trust placed upon her by the public for the administration of government funds and used her specialized skills as an accountant to commit her offense.”

Last September, following a bench trial, Judge Snyder convicted Stamps of three counts of mail fraud in relation to the embezzlement scheme.

This case was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General and the United States Secret Service.

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Release No. 11-089

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