Woman Charged with Federal Program Theft, Money Laundering

Kira Lee Encarnacion, 40, of St. Croix, was arraigned Tuesday in District Court on a criminal indictment charging her with federal program theft and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

According to the indictment, Encarnacion was employed as a bookkeeper by the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix, a non-profit organization that provides assistance and advocacy to women, children and men who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes.

As part of her duties, Encarnacion issued payments to the organization’s vendors using an accounting software program. The indictment charges that Encarnacion circumvented the WCSC’s internal financial controls and fraudulently caused numerous checks to be issued to her. She then deposited the checks into an off-island bank account using a mobile deposit application.

If convicted of federal program theft, Encarnacion faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, Shappert’s news release said. If convicted of money laundering, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

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The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tasheika Hinson.

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