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Former federal accountant sentenced for embezzling $1.4 million

June 21, 2011 |  1:09 pm

A former accountant with the U.S. Forest Service who stole $1.4 million from the agency will serve four years in federal prison and must pay back the money, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.

Kathy Stamps, 39, of Rancho Cucamonga, an accountant at the Angeles National Forest office in Arcadia, fabricated internal records to receive tax refunds, authorities say.

From 2002 to 2004, Stamps received six checks from the U.S. Treasury totaling $1.4 million.

She spent nearly $1.1 million on personal items ranging from cars and mortgage payments to jewelry and plastic surgery, authorities said.

When the embezzlement was uncovered, only $330,645 remained in her bank accounts.

Stamps “carefully planned and executed her scheme,” officials with the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.

They also said she “abused the trust placed upon her by the public for the administration of government funds” and “used her specialized skills as an accountant to commit her offense.”

Stamps was convicted in September of three counts of mail fraud in relation to the scheme.


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-- Kate Mather