Kira Lee Encarnacion, 41, of St. Croix, was sentenced Thursday in U.S District Court to 13 months imprisonment in federal prison on one count of federal program theft, U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert announced.
After finding that Encarnacion abused a position of trust, Chief Judge Wilma 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, Shappert said in a news release issued Friday.
According to court documents, from November 2014 through May 2015, Encarnacion was employed as a bookkeeper with the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix. As 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 for personal matters.
The coalition receives more than $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. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Huston prosecuted the case.