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June 28, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Woman who bilked autistic patients sentenced to prison

A former employee of a residential center for the developmentally disabled in Bremerton was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 33 months in prison for embezzling more than $300,000 from the facility.

For seven years, beginning in November 2003, Kristi Osborne, a fiscal analyst at Frances Haddon Morgan Center, stole funds paid by the state and federal governments. She also took funds from patient accounts, according to an auditor’s investigation.

During this morning’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan said, “It is important that white collar crimes be treated seriously by the court.  This crime had far more impact than the restitution amount.  There is every reason for lots of people to be angry and feel betrayed.”

Osborne was also ordered to pay $304,755 in restitution. 

In January, Osborne, pleaded guilty to theft of government funds. According to federal charges, Osborne managed the business office at Frances Haddon Morgan, where she did the accounting for the 55-patient facility. She wrote checks for “fictitious expenditures” and kept the cash for herself, according to federal prosecutors.

Frances Haddon Morgan Center, which specialized in care for autistic patients, closed in December as part of state budget cuts.

An audit of the Department of Social and Health Services, launched after the embezzlement was uncovered, urged the state agency to “strengthen internal controls over cash-receipting and payments.”

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: embezzlement, U.S. District Court

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