Former Alcoa schools employee pleads guilty to embezzlement

Former Alcoa schools employee pleads guilty to embezzlement

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A former Alcoa City Schools employee pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling from the U.S. Department of Education.

Kathy Ann Winters, 58, is charged with willfully and knowingly embezzling more than $1,000 from the U.S. DOE.

Previous story: Former Alcoa school official accused of stealing over $400,000 for personal use

According to a plea agreement, Winters was the federal projects administrative assistant for Alcoa City Schools as well as treasurer for both the East Tennessee Attendance Supervisors Association (ETASA) and Tennessee Attendance Supervisors Steering Committee (TASSC).

While serving in these roles, investigators say she took funds belonging to the three entities by creating false invoices, forging an approving official's signature, and forwarding the false invoices to the City of Alcoa for payment.

Once she received the checks, she endorsed them and either deposited the funds into her personal account or into the TASSC or ETASA accounts and then withdrew the money.

Winters was also accused of misusing Alcoa City School District credit cards by making unauthorized personal charges and falsified reimbursement requests for unauthorized travel.

The investigation revealed a total lost of $428,076.94 between the three entities.

Winters admitted to the fraud during a consensual and voluntary interview on April 4, 2013.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 7, 2014.
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