FORMER RIDGEFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPLOYEE SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS IN PRISON FOR EMBEZZLEMENT
Assistant Business Manager Boosted Her Salary more than $800,000 over Ten Years
PEGGY KANE, 57, of Ridgefield, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to two years in prison, three years of supervised release and $806,645 in restitution for wire fraud. KANE is the former Assistant Business Manager for the Ridgefield School District, a small school district near Vancouver in Clark County, Washington. Over the course of ten years, KANE manipulated the payroll system to artificially inflate her salary, illegally collecting more than $800,000. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan imposed the sentence.
The Ridgefield School District operates two elementary schools, a middle school and high school with an annual budget of $16 million in 2009-10. KANE’s employment with the district was terminated in May 2009. The investigation revealed that KANE used the funds she illegally took from the district to finance frequent vacations, purchase jewelry, create a college fund for her grandchildren, and to purchase several cars. KANE pleaded guilty in May 2010.
In his sentencing memo, Assistant United States Attorney Norman Barbosa said the Superintendent of the district described how the theft damaged the students. “Ms. Kane’s embezzlement deprived the children who attended schools within the district of resources that were intended to support their education. While the district has since been reimbursed for its losses by an insurance policy, the children who attended school during the course of the theft will not recover those lost resources. (The Superintendent) noted that Ms. Kane was a trusted employee with ‘significant access to the District’s payroll system’ and that her theft had a large impact on the community,” Mr. Barbosa wrote in his sentencing memo.
The case was investigated by the FBI, and the Ridgefield Police Department, with assistance from the Washington State Auditor’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman Barbosa.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.