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Women’s Coalition Bookkeeper Faces 10 Years In Prison If Convicted of Federal Theft and Money Laundering Charges

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CHRISTIANSTED – A bookkeeper with the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix (WCSC) was arraigned today in federal court on a criminal indictment charging her with federal program theft and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

According to the indictment, Kira Lee Encarnacion, 40, was employed by the Women’s Coalition, a non-profit organization that provides assistance and advocacy to women, children and men who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.

The indictment alleges that as part of her duties, Encarnacion issued payments to the organization’s vendors using an accounting software program.

According to the indictment, Encarnacion circumvented the WCSC’s internal financial controls and fraudulently caused numerous checks to be issued to her.

She then deposited the checks into an off-island bank account using a “Mobile Deposit” application.

If convicted of federal program theft, Encarnacion faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of money laundering, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tasheika Hinson.

Shappert said that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.

“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty,” she said.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.


  1. David Jones
    January 23, 2018 at 7:43 PM — Reply

    Good day Mr. McCarthy; you appear to be somewhat of an investigative reporter (publisher, editor).

    Is it possible that you can inquire of the police commissioner, how it is possible for there to be, no less than, 10 house selling drugs (like crack cocaine) within a ten square block area of the government house?

    Also, for many years several different drug gangs have sold cocaine openly right beside the Saint Croix Foundation in front of the store on Company Street. As they do today, and everyday! Most of them have the drugs in their pockets (or hidden nearby). There have been numerous shootings there; more than any other place on the island!

    I noticed that there is usually a couple of park rangers posted down by the Christiansted fort to protect visitors and tourist.

    A foot patrol would alleviate the drug deals on Company Street and the drug house next to the graveyard.

    This would be a big one to help reduce the murder rate.

    Many people appreciate your news services. Thanks!

    • David Jones
      February 27, 2020 at 10:02 PM — Reply

      No reply or concern in two years; same people selling drugs in EXACT same places! These are people from here (Crucians). New Governor, new police chief, new senators, SAME criminals? Crucians = Criminals!

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