Woman allegedly stole $500K from parents in Lynnwood

LYNNWOOD — An elderly Lynnwood couple gave their grown daughter access to their finances so she could make sure they were cared for in the last years of their lives.

Instead, police and prosecutors allege the woman exploited that trust to pilfer a half-million dollars for herself. She reportedly used some of the money to buy land in Jefferson County and a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Krisel T. Andersen, 59, of Port Townsend, was charged May 2 with first-degree theft. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Christopher Sedgewick charged the case in a way that opens the door for a judge to give Andersen an enhanced sentence in prison if she is convicted.

A sibling of Andersen’s contacted Lynnwood police about a year ago, after noticing discrepancies in their parents’ finances. Their parents’ annual tax returns were missing information that been previously reported.

At the time, Andersen’s mother was 86 and her father was 92. Her father since has died.

Over the past year, Lynnwood police detective Scott Dilworth built a case scrutinizing the woman’s transactions from various banks and financial companies, he said.

The alleged thefts took place over several years starting in 2008. Most of the transactions happened in Snohomish County.

Dilworth, who’s assigned to Lynnwood’s Criminal Investigations Division, specializes in financial crimes. He’s also a member of the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force out of Seattle.

Before Dilworth was hired at Lynnwood in 2003, he’d worked in business and information technology consulting, he said.

“I like following the money,” he said. “The history paints a story about what happened.”

The Andersen case is one of the biggest in Dilworth’s career in terms of the amount of money allegedly stolen, he said.

Even now, it’s still unclear what happened to all of the cash, even after an outside forensic financial analysis by an Edmonds-based accounting firm, he said. The purpose of the forensic analysis was to identify places where money went missing.

“Did it reappear in another account or was it gone?” he said. “If it was gone, you could determine it had not gone to the benefit of the parents.”

Dilworth spent months obtaining search warrants for bank records, property titles and related documents.

The investigation wrapped up in mid-April. Paperwork fills four three-ring binders.

Before Andersen’s father died, he and her mother both told the detective that their daughter didn’t have permission to use their accounts for herself. Dilworth asked the mother if Andersen should be prosecuted, court papers show.

The mother reportedly said, “She deserves it.”

The prosecutor cited three grounds for seeking exceptional punishment if Andersen is convicted: the amount of money allegedly taken, the vulnerability of the victims and the abuse of a position of trust.

Andersen violated not only the law but also her duty to her parents to protect them from harm, Sedgewick wrote in the charging papers.

“The direct result of her breach of duty was an unjust enrichment of money, goods and real property to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he wrote.

In spring 2012, Andersen was arrested in the case. She declined to speak with detectives and was released pending further investigation.

An arraignment is scheduled for later this month.

She has no known criminal history.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Food stuffs for a local chapter of A Simple Gesture at Fitness Evolution, the communal pick-up point, in Arlington on Jan. 12. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
There’s an easier way to donate to food banks

Grab a green bag, fill it gradually with grocery items — and someone will pick it up from your home.

Lake Stevens man shot by deputies reportedly was suicidal

The fatal shooting is the latest incident where someone apparently wanted police to fire.

Man suspected of robbing Rite Aids

Mill Creek police released a sketch Monday evening of the suspect.

Suspect: Marysville church fire ignited by burning shoelaces

The 21-year-old told police it was an accident, but he’s under investigation for second-degree arson.

Police seek witnesses to Marysville hit-and-run

A Seattle man suffered broken bones in the accident.

Tracking device leads police to bank robbery suspect

The man walked into a Wells Fargo around 3:15 Tuesday and told the teller he had a bomb.

Mayor, others break ground on low-barrier housing in Everett

Somers: The complex is expected to save lives and “really shows the heart of this community.”

Former Everett councilman also sued his employer, the county

Ron Gipson says he suffered racial discrimination related to an investigation into sexual harassment.

Teen charged with murder in shooting over car

A Lynnwood teen has been charged with second-degree murder for… Continue reading

Most Read