Kids House of Seminole Accountant Allegedly Gambled with Stolen Charity Money

61-year-old Carrie Wagner is an ex-Kids House of Seminole accountant who was arrested after turning herself in for charges of embezzlement last Thursday. The Summa Cum Laude university graduate was taken into the custody of the Seminole County Jail for having plundered the Children’s Advocacy Center’s accounts. 

A Contrite Accountant Faces 58 Charges

Wagner is accused of having stolen little over $129,200 from Sanford’s non-profit organization that has been assisting child abuse victims for over two decades. The woman faces 58 charges in total, including grand larceny of $100,000, scheming with the intention of defrauding over $50,000, accessing and using a computer without being authorized to do so to commit fraud, and more than 25 different “intent to defraud” and “forgery” counts. 

Wagner Was Arrested at the End of A Complex Four-Month Investigation 

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office needed an extended four-month investigation to examine all fraud suspicions and shed light on the case. Kids House of Seminole CEO Juliette Kong was the one who initially reported the accountant and provided sworn testimony to the Seminole Financial Crimes Task Force. 

Kong accused Wagner of having issued fraudulent checks on July 7. One day prior to Kong’s testimony, Wagner had been reported missing from home. She was spotted on the security cameras nearby the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa. Allegedly, she had used the stolen money to go on a one-day gambling spree, then returned home the next day. 

One week later, Wagner was interviewed by Seminole detectives, who then spent the next three months collecting bank records, statements and interviewing more people to help them with their investigation. Their findings showed that the woman abused her position as an accountant at the Kids House of Seminole and got unrestricted access to the charity’s bank accounts. 

Wagner Quietly Turned Herself In

Wagner allegedly forged many payment checks and cashed them out or transferred the money into her own accounts. She is also accused of having wired herself money using Zelle, a popular network used for making payments online. To cover her tracks, deputies believe Wagner attempted to tamper with the digital books using QuickBooks, which is software used by accountants to keep records.

The officials’ thorough investigation finally ended last Thursday when they went to Wagner’s house to arrest her. Faced with the overwhelming evidence, Wagner decided to turn herself in without further incidents to Seminole County deputies. Presently, the woman is currently being held at the Seminole County Jail on a bond set at $145,000. Her first official court appearance is set for Friday at 2 p.m. 

Accountants Whose Gambling Addiction Pushed Them too Hard

In 2019, Mina Saad, a Globetrotting accountant who was also a high-stakes bettor, stole $255,000 from his employer and spent it on gambling, drugs, and luxurious vacations. After he was caught, he decided to plead guilty and was eventually sentenced to one year in prison. 

In 2019, CPA Adam Kamor was imprisoned for years on charges of stealing more than $1.3 million from a charity to fund his gambling. In April 2021, accountant Jamal Haider was sent to jail for forty months for having stolen more than $936,000 (£700,000) from an electronics company in Leeds. Haider had used the money to gamble at online and brick-and-mortar casinos. 

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