- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 24, 2007

The office manager for a D.C.-based political committee has been indicted on charges of embezzling more than $80,000 and covering up the theft by destroying financial records.

Monica J. Cash, when office manager of the Women’s Campaign Fund, wrote 58 checks to herself, then forged signatures before funneling the money into her bank account or cashing the checks, according to a recent indictment in federal court in the District. Miss Cash was arrested Wednesday and has been released on bond.

According to the indictment, the embezzlement went undetected from 2001 to 2004. Federal Election Commission filings show concern about the group’s disclosure report arose in 2005.

The Women’s Campaign Fund is described in the indictment as “dedicated to supporting ‘pro-choice’ women seeking political office in state and federal elections.”

An attorney for the group said only that Miss Cash is no longer employed there and that group officials alerted law-enforcement authorities about the situation.

The group was not accused of wrongdoing. However, the purported theft resulted in the group apparently misstating expenditures in mandatory disclosure statements on file with the FEC, according to the indictment.

The group must periodically file the statements because it is a registered political committee, prosecutors said.

They also said Miss Cash was responsible for all aspects of the group’s daily operations, including tracking donor contributions, filing required financial disclosure reports with election offices, paying vendors and preparing budget reports.

According to the indictment, after Miss Cash wrote the checks then cashed or deposited them in the bank, she would delete the transactions from the group’s internal database to avoid getting caught.

The group uses the database as the basis for sending reports to federal regulators. And under federal law, such reports must include expenditures to any person or entity receiving more than $200 a year.

Also, the group understated expenditures in FEC reports by tens of thousands of dollars as a result of the embezzlement, prosecutors said.

In response to an August 2005 question from the FEC about the group’s accounting, officials said they were “reviewing a series of amendments that were filed by a former employee and [were] in the midst of assessing its records for correction,” according to FEC filings.

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