Alabama City Clerk Who Stole Money to Gamble Sentenced to Federal Prison
Posted on: January 9, 2021, 12:03h.
Last updated on: January 8, 2021, 02:09h.
An Alabama woman will spend the next year in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $400,000 from two cities where she served as clerk.
Kim Wright Green, 50, of Loxley, Alabama pleaded guilty a year ago to embezzling $400,030 from the cities of Creola and Prichard. Green was city clerk of Creola from January 2013 to February 2017, and city clerk of Prichard from May 2017 through August of 2019.
Green admitted to federal prosecutors that she gambled some of the stolen money at casinos. However, specific casinos were not identified.
Alabama does not have commercial casinos with slot machines and table games. But it is home to three tribal casinos owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Wind Creek Montgomery, Atmore, and Wetumpka operate Class II Native American gaming. Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), Class II facilities can offer gaming machines that are based on bingo. Class II casinos are specifically prohibited from operating slot machines and house-banked table games (blackjack, roulette).
Personal Piggy Bank
A year ago this month, Green admitted she stole the more than $400,000 to gamble, and also use the ill-gotten cash for her own personal expenses. Along with pleading guilty to two federal counts of embezzlement, she conceded guilt to one count of filing a false tax return.
US District Judge Terry Moorer was originally set to sentence Green on April 16, 2020.
I don’t feel it’s necessary for you to sit in jail between now and the time I sentence you,” Moorer said at the plea hearing in January of 2020.
Little did they know that a global pandemic would delay Green’s sentencing until 2021. If Moorer hadn’t allowed her to remain free, his sentence this week would have presumably made her a free woman with credit for time served.
Prosecutors say Green attempted to disguise the theft in each city’s accounting system. Green admitted to performing various transfers to make it difficult to track the money that eventually landed in her personal bank account.
Green had plenty of options to go gamble. Some 40 miles northeast of Prichard and Creola is Wind Creek Atmore. If she fancied a true slot machine or table game, she could have driven about 60 miles southwest to Biloxi, where the Mississippi Gulf Coast town is home to eight riverboat casinos.
Small Towns, Big Crime
Creola’s population is a little more than 2,000 people. Prichard is larger, with roughly 22,000 people calling the town home. Median household income is $52,800 in Creola, but just $29,000 in Prichard, where more than 31 percent of the population lives in poverty.
Green’s 2015 tax return, when she was working in Creola, listed income of $57,341. Prosecutors say her true income received was $113,341, which included $56,000 in embezzled funds. The theft nearly doubled her personal income in that year alone.
Along with the 12 months in prison, Moorer ordered Green to pay $444,202 in restitution.
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