SEATTLE — A former city of Arlington finance worker has admitted to helping herself to more than $1.3 million from the city’s coffers.
Terry L. Davis pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to mail fraud and filing a false tax return. She faces up to 20 years in prison.
As part of a deal reached with federal prosecutors Davis, 57, agreed to forfeit two properties, two cars and a time-share condominium in Whistler, B.C., to the government. She also agreed to repay the money she took from the city.
Davis wrote herself dozens of checks from city accounts between 2000 and her retirement in May. She used the city’s money to pay her mortgage, finance home improvement projects, buy jewelry and clothing and pay credit card bills, according to court papers.
Davis worked for the city for 32 years and at one time was the assistant financial director.
The thefts were uncovered in July when a city accountant discovered a suspicious check made out to Davis.
Investigators believe Davis wrote herself 103 unauthorized city checks. The payments were made after Davis forged signatures and made unauthorized use of a city ink stamp, according to court papers filed by assistant U.S. attorneys Robert Westinghouse and Darwin Roberts.
Davis allegedly deposited the checks in her own bank account, intercepted them after they came back from the bank, and then submitted bogus checks, and other accounting paperwork, according to prosecutors.
The scheme relied in part on using the mail system and the filing of false tax returns, in violation of federal law, federal prosecutors contend.
The thefts became public in August when detectives served search warrants at the woman’s bank and her home. In addition to bank and investment records, computers and other evidence, police also seized marijuana plants, scales and a ledger listing apparent drug sales, according to documents.
Davis is scheduled to be sentenced March 27.
Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or firstname.lastname@example.org.