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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Friday, August 31, 2018

Former Finance Manager Of San Francisco Architecture Firm Indicted On Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, And Related Charges

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Karen Posey with wire fraud, bank fraud, identity theft, and credit card fraud charges, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. 

According to the indictment, filed yesterday and unsealed earlier today, from July 2016 through December 2017, Posey, 57, of Martinez, worked as the business finance manager at a San Francisco architecture firm.  The firm specializes in designing schools and other public facilities for people with disabilities.  Posey is alleged to have stolen money from the firm in various ways, including by writing company checks and making them out to herself, and then depositing the money in her personal bank account.  She also used a corporate credit card to pay for personal expenses and used a corporate debit card to withdraw thousands of dollars in cash from the firm’s account.  In total, Posey is alleged to have stolen approximately $235,000 from the firm.  The indictment charges Posey with four counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and one count each of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A; bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344(2); and fraudulent use of unauthorized access devices, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(2).  

Posey was arrested today in Martinez and made her initial appearance in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley this morning.  Posey was released on a $50,000 bond.  Posey’s next appearance is scheduled for September 4, 2018, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte for identification of counsel and arraignment.  

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Posey faces the following maximum statutory penalties:  (1) wire fraud (each count): 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, plus restitution; (2) bank fraud: 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, plus restitution; (3) access device fraud: 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, plus restitution; and (4) aggravated identity theft: a two year mandatory term of imprisonment consecutive to the prison term for the underlying charge.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross Weingarten is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Marina Ponomarchuk.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI. 

Updated September 4, 2018