At least Tara Mullins will be home in time to start a family. Mullins, 37, was sentenced in U.S. District Court on May 2 to serve four months in federal prison, plus two years of supervision upon release, for embezzling $41,733 from the Seattle Police Officers Guild. Mitigating her sentence was her payment to the union of nearly $77,500, a sum representing restitution and auditing costs, and the fact that she’s now about a month and a half pregnant.
As guild bookkeeper from February 2003 until her firing in November 2005, Mullins, a resident of Renton, Wash., employed a variety of means to extract funds. Sometimes she would write fraudulent checks from employee benefits accounts, and deposit them into her own account. She also would withhold benefit checks scheduled to be mailed to police officers or vendors, in one case neglecting to send a check to an officer who had died in an on-duty accident. Finally, she forged a guild officer’s signature and transferred the money to her online PayPal account to buy items such as TV sets and “Star Trek” memorabilia. When her baby arrives, these spending patterns will change. (Seattle Times, 5/2/08; Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/3/08).