Florida Accountant Allegedly Bilked Charity’s $129K, Spent at Seminole Hard Rock

Posted on: November 22, 2021, 03:32h. 

Last updated on: November 23, 2021, 01:07h.

A Sanford, Fla. accountant is accused of embezzling $129,231.54 from a non-profit dedicated to helping victims of child abuse, local CBS affiliate WKMG-TV reports.

Kids House of Seminole
Carrie Wagner, pictured in a Seminole County Sheriff’s Office mugshot, allegedly used her exclusive access to Kids House of Seminole’s accounts to plunder them for gambling money. (Image: Seminole County Sheriff’s Office)

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office believes Carrie Wagner, 61, used the money to fund gambling sprees at the Hard Rock Casino Tampa.

Wagner was arrested last Thursday following a four-month investigation. The sheriff’s office said she used her position at Kids House of Seminole to plunder the charity’s accounts, to which she had exclusive access.

She achieved this by forging payment checks, which she would cash or deposit into accounts she controlled. She would also wire herself money through the digital payments network Zelle, according to the arrest report.

Deputies said she tried to cover her tracks by fiddling with the digital books on the accounting software platform QuickBooks.

Reported Missing

Wagner has been charged with grand larceny of $100,000 or more, scheming to defraud $50,000 or more, using a computer to defraud, accessing a computer without authority, and 27 counts each of forgery or intent to defraud.

The non-profit uncovered Wagner’s alleged transgressions in early July. According to the arrest report, its CEO, Juliette Kong, reported her to police on July 7, making a sworn testimony to the Seminole Financial Crimes Task Force.

The previous day, Wagner had been reported missing, but was found safe on July 7. That’s according to a news piece by local NBC affiliate WFLA, which did not mention the allegations.

The missing person’s report stated Wagner went missing on the morning of July 6, having been seen on security video checking out of the Hard Rock Tampa. The report said she required daily medication and may have needed medical assistance.

Turned Herself In

According to Wagner’s LinkedIn page, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Sacramento State University. She spent most of her subsequent career working in the Sacramento area. She moved to Florida in late 2019 or early 2020.

She was interviewed by police on July 15. Detectives spent the next three months collecting and poring over financial records and documents, including statements, bank records, and interviews.

WKMG-TV reports that when deputies came knocking, Wagner turned herself in without incident.

Kids House of Seminole was established 22 years ago and is dedicated to preventing child abuse and helping victims and families by providing coordinated services in a safe, child-friendly environment, according to its website. It aims to break the cycle of violence and child abuse through treatment and resolution.

“Kids House of Seminole, Inc. recently uncovered discrepancies in its financial accounts that are believed to be related, and isolated to the alleged activities of a former employee,” Kong, told Casino.org. “As soon as we became aware of these discrepancies, we immediately contacted the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and have been working with them to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.

“At Kids House, our mission is to prevent child abuse and to aid child abuse victims and families. These funds are critical to our life-saving work, and we are committed to a successful resolution,” she added.