WASHINGTON – Kristina Ann Ballard, 53, of Largo, Florida, was sentenced today to three years in prison for embezzling more than $270,000 from her former employer, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division.
In March 2022, Ballard pleaded guilty to wire fraud in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition to the prison term, the Honorable Royce C. Lamberth ordered that she serve three years of supervised release and pay $271,465.86 in restitution and an identical amount in a forfeiture money judgment.
Ballard worked for the nonprofit organization between August 2014 and December 2020, at which point she was fired for poor performance. She served as the organization’s Director of Finance. From January 2015 through December 2020, she embezzled $271,465.86.
Ballard started embezzling from the D.C. non-profit just four days after she was indicted in Arlington County, Virginia, for embezzling from a previous employer. In July 2015, a Virginia court sentenced her to four years of probation. In conjunction with her sentencing in that case, Ballard said she had learned from her mistakes and would “never let [something like this] happen again.” In fact, between the time she was indicted in Virginia in January 2015 and sentenced in July 2015, she had embezzled more than $30,000 from the D.C. employer. Following the imposition of the probationary sentence, Ballard went on to steal approximately $240,000 more from the D.C. non-profit.
Ballard stole from the D.C. non-profit by wiring organization funds to bank accounts that she controlled, intercepting credit card rewards checks issued to the organization and then depositing them into a bank account she controlled, and fraudulently charging personal purchases on the organization’s credit card. On Nov. 5, 2020, she used the organization’s credit card to pay $24,694 in restitution to the Virginia court for her prior embezzlement scheme.
Ballard concealed her fraud from the D.C. employer by listing various beneficiary names on wire transfers and creating fake invoices, often using fake company names. She also forged the Executive Director’s signature on the credit card rewards checks before she deposited them.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kondi Kleinman with assistance from Paralegal Specialist Michon Tart and former Paralegal Specialist Angeline Thekkumthala.
originally published at HUMAN RIGHTS - USA DAILY NEWS 24