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United States of America v. Cindi Allison
Federal Courthouse - Tacoma, Washington
Case Number: 3:16-cr-05207-RBL
Judge: Ronald B. Leighton
Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (Pierce County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: Andre Peñalver and Steven Masada
Defendant's Attorney: John Kannin
Description: Tacoma, WA - Former Bookkeeper for South Sound Real Estate Franchises Convicted of Embezzling more than $400,000
Defendant Transferred Money from Company Accounts to those of Friends, Relatives or for her Personal Expenses
The 48-year-old former bookkeeper for two Windermere Real Estate franchises was convicted on June 30, 2017 in U.S. District Court in Tacoma of six counts of wire fraud related to her embezzlement scheme. Cindi Allison, now of Ben Wheeler, Texas, used her unfettered access to the bank accounts of Windermere Puyallup and Windermere South Sound to embezzle $478,398. ALLISON was remanded to custody following the jury verdict.
During a four-day jury trial, prosecutors presented evidence that ALLISON transferred money from Windermere accounts to her own bank accounts and those of her boyfriend, ex-husband, and service providers such as a roofer in Ben Wheeler, Texas. Between 2011 and 2015, ALLISON made 782 unauthorized transfers from the two real estate franchise accounts to sixteen different accounts that all had some connection to ALLISON. As the bookkeeper, ALLISON made various entries in the records to make the transfers appear legitimate. The fraud came to light in March 2015, when the owner of the two franchises decided to sell the South Sound Windermere franchise because the company was not generating enough income compared to expenses. The purchaser started investigating some of the transfers and could not get straight answers from ALLISON. ALLISON had been working remotely from Texas as the bookkeeper, and the company shut down the computer system to protect its accounts.
The U.S. Secret Service began investigating the wire fraud in August 2015. When questioned, ALLISON claimed she had embezzled the money to support her boyfriend’s drug habit.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.