(Editor's note: This is from the U.S. Department of Justice)
SEATTLE-A Lakewood Police Officer who served as the treasurer of the Lakewood Police Independent Guild pleaded guilty today to wire fraud in connection with the embezzlement of more than $112,000 from a fund intended to benefit the families of four Lakewood Police Officers who were killed in the line of duty in November 2009.
Skeeter Timothy Manos, 34, of Dupont, also admitted he embezzled more than $47,000 from the Lakewood Police Independent Guild. Manos was arrested Feb. 8. He has been released on bond since his arrest. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan scheduled sentencing for June 15.
“A police officer who was supposed to ‘serve and protect’ betrayed the trust of those who deserved it the most,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “We will seek to have this defendant pay back all the money he embezzled, and will ask that he also pay with his freedom.”
According to the facts in the plea agreement, Manos set up a secret bank account, distinct from the primary account established by the Lakewood Police Independent Guild, for donations to the Lakewood Police Officers’ families. Manos diverted approximately $151,000 intended for the families to this account. Manos then used about $112,000 from the account for purchases at Costco, Home Depot, for Alaska Airlines tickets to Las Vegas, Nevada, and for cash withdrawals at various casinos. Some of the cash withdrawals were made at the Bellagio Casino in April 2010, and at the Hawks Prairie Casino in December 2010.
The stolen money was just a portion of more than $3.2 million the public contributed for the benefit of the families of the murdered officers.
Additionally, in May 2009, Manos set up an account at Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU) in his name.
Beginning in May 2009, and into 2011, Manos wrote checks from the Lakewood Police Officers Guild accounts and deposited them into his WESCU account. Manos told guild officers he had purchased certificates of deposit with the funds. In fact only $55,000 of funds went to CDs. Manos embezzled $47,000 of guild funds for his own use.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, the defense and prosecution will recommend a prison sentence within the range of the federal sentencing guidelines. The recommendations will be no less than 21 months and no more than 33 months in prison. Judge Bryan is free to sentence the defendant up to the maximum allowed by statute which is twenty years in prison.
The case is being investigated by the FBI with the assistance of the Lakewood Police Department and the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office. Criminal Chief Robert Westinghouse is prosecuting the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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