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WCSTX Bookkeeper Who ‘Cooked The Books’ In Her Favor … Gets 1 Year In Prison

CHRISTIANSTED — A former Women’s Coalition of St. Croix bookkeeper has been sentenced in federal prison for stealing at least $83,510 from the non-profit organization, authorities said.

Kira Lee Encarnacion, 41, of St. Croix, was sentenced Thursday in U.S District Court to 13 months imprisonment, on one count of Federal Program Theft, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

After finding that Encarnacion abused a position of trust, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Wilma A. Lewis sentenced Encarnacion to a prison term of 13 months to be followed by three years of supervised release. Additionally, Encarnacion was ordered to pay the outstanding restitution balance of $83,510 and a special assessment of $100.

According to court documents, from November 2014 through May 2015, Encarnacion was employed as a bookkeeper with the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix (WCSTX).

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 WCSTX checks to be issued to herself, totaling $85,510. Encarnacion disguised the checks in the accounting software program as payments to legitimate vendors of WCSTX. Encarnacion then deposited the checks into her personal bank account and used the funds for personal matters.

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

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

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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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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.

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