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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Former Organization Director Sentenced to a Year in Prison For Theft of Nearly $250,000 From Employer

Embezzlement Took Place Over a Two-Year Period

            WASHINGTON – Tamara Kukla, who worked as the “Director of Membership” for a Washington based non-profit organization, has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for embezzling nearly $250,000 from her employer, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Brian J. Ebert, Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Office, U.S. Secret Service.

 

            Kukla, 47, of Plano, Texas, pled guilty in November 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to interstate transportation of stolen property. The Honorable James E. Boasberg sentenced her on April 4, 2017. Kukla will be placed on three years of supervised release following completion of her prison term. She also must pay $248,755 in restitution and an identical amount in a forfeiture money judgment.

 

            According to the government’s evidence, Kukla’s employer provided her with a credit card to assist her with her duties and responsibilities as the “Director of Membership.” Kukla’s duties and responsibilities included, among others, formulating and executing marketing plans designed to maintain and increase her employer’s membership rolls. Beginning around October 2009 and continuing through about December 2011, Kukla devised and carried out a scheme to defraud her employer by embezzling funds through her corporate credit card. Kukla used the credit card for both legitimate and personal purchases, but provided false descriptions of the personal purchases as work-related expenses so that her employer would pay for them. These unauthorized purchases and expenses included, among others, personal expenses related to travel, transportation, hotel lodgings, retail purchases, meals, food, and entertainment. Kukla also devised a scheme whereby she caused her employer to pay for thousands of dollars in expenses for personal services from two different private companies.

 

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Special Agent in Charge Ebert commended the work of those who investigated the case from the National Capitol Region Fraud Task Force of the U.S. Secret Service’s Washington Field Office. They also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who worked on the matter for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Vesna Harasic-Yaksic and Assistant U.S. Attorney Zia Faruqui, who handled forfeiture issues; Paralegal Specialists Krishawn Graham and Angela Lawrence; former Assistant U.S. Attorney Loyaan A. Egal, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mervin A. Bourne, Jr., who prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
17-070
Updated April 5, 2017