WASHINGTON – Kristina Ann Ballard, 52, of Largo, Florida, pleaded guilty today to embezzling more than $270,000 from her former employer, a nonprofit organization. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division.
Ballard pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of wire fraud. Under federal sentencing guidelines, she faces a likely recommended sentence of between 33 and 41 months in prison. As part of the plea agreement, Ballard will be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $271,465 and also will be liable for a forfeiture money judgment in that same amount. The Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan scheduled sentencing for July 22, 2022.
In court documents, Ballard admitted that she worked for the nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., between August 2014 and December 2020, at which point she was fired for poor performance. She served as the organization’s Director of Finance.
From January 2015 through December 2020, Ballard embezzled $271,465 from the organization. She fraudulently wired organization funds to bank accounts that she controlled, intercepted credit card rewards checks issued to the organization, and then deposited those checks into a bank account she controlled, and fraudulently charged personal purchases on the organization’s credit card. On Nov. 5, 2020, she used the organization’s credit card to pay $24,694 in restitution to the Arlington County Circuit Court for a prior embezzlement scheme for which she was convicted in Virginia.
Ballard concealed her fraud from the organization by listing various beneficiary names on wire transfers and creating fake invoices, often using fake company names. She also forged the Executive Director’s signature on the credit card rewards checks before she deposited them.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Graves and Special Agent in Charge Jacobs commended those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also expressed appreciation for the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Michon Tart and former Paralegal Specialist Angeline Thekkumthala. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Kondi Kleinman, who prosecuted the case.