Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

December 19, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Former Seattle ATF supervisor pleads not guilty in embezzlement

A former supervisor in the Seattle office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives pleaded not guilty this morning to charges of embezzling money from a fund for confidential informants and making false statements.

The one-time agent, James Contreras, 52, of Maple Valley, entered the plea through his attorney in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Contreras was indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle last month on one count of embezzlement and 30 counts of making false statements. The indictment alleged he repeatedly took money from a cash account he supervised.

If convicted, Contreras could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison on the embezzlement count and five years for each false-statement count.

The indictment alleged Contreras improperly took $19,700 from the ATF’s confidential informant fund, often falsifying signatures of other agents, between March 2010 and April 2012. Money to be paid to 12 informants was never given to them, the indictment said.

Contreras resigned in June 2012 amid an internal ATF investigation over his handling of a paid informant who sexually abused a woman while working for the ATF, a federal source told The Seattle Times at the time.

Contreras came under scrutiny after a May 2012 Times story about the informant, Joshua Allan Jackson, who was hired despite a lengthy history of violence against women. While working for the ATF, Jackson engaged in criminal activity that included sexually assaulting a young woman in a Seattle motel room paid for by the agency.

The embezzlement case was presented to the grand jury by prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco. Federal prosecutors in Seattle were recused from the case to avoid a conflict of interest.

Comments | More in Government, The Blotter | Topics: ATF, embezzlement, federal grand jury

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►