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Crime / News / Virgin Islands / July 26, 2019

ST. CROIX — Kira Lee Encarnacion, 41, of St. Croix, pled guilty on July 26, 2019, in District Court to one count of federal program theft, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

According to court documents, from November 2014, through May 2015, Encarnacion was employed as a bookkeeper with the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix (WCSC). As the bookkeeper, Encarnacion’s duties included issuing legitimate payments to vendors in support of the organization’s functions, using an accounting software program. However, during this period, she fraudulently caused 39 WCSC checks to be issued to herself, totaling $85,510. Encarnacion disguised the checks in the accounting software program as payments to legitimate vendors of WCSC. The defendant then deposited the checks into her personal bank account and used the funds to pay for personal matters.

WCSC receives in excess of $10,000 a year in federal grants and benefits, which gave rise to the federal prosecution.

This offense carries a possible sentence of incarceration of up to 10 years, a maximum fine of up to $250,000 dollars, and a term of supervised release up to 3 years. Sentencing is set for November 27, 2019.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel H. Huston prosecuted the case.

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