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Harriette Walters: 28 Trips to Vegas, 13 to Atlantic City

Harriette Walters, the mastermind of the D.C. Tax Office embezzlement scandal, pleaded guilty in federal court, reports Post staffer Del Quentin Wilber, to stealing $48.1 million in public money over two decades. She could get between 15 and 18 years in prison under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

In court papers, prosecutors revealed new details of how large Walters lived before she got caught. To wit:

* Walters wrote at least 236 fraudulent property tax refund checks from 1989 through 2007, when the scam was uncovered, stealing $48.1 million.
* She doled out gifts, cash and checks to her co-workers. She wrote them $1.2 million in checks alone between 2001 and 2007.
* She made 28 trips to Las Vegas, where she paid for a friend's wedding in 2006, visited Atlantic City 13 times, and financed a family vacation to Paris in August 2005.
* She charged more than $2.3 million on credit card purchases at high-end department stores, such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

By David A Nakamura  |  September 17, 2008; 7:15 AM ET
Categories:  City Finances  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Disruptions Open Council's First Meeting
Next: Guns and Tax Rip-Offs


This situation is really hard to beleive. How can one person get away with stealing millions and nobody knows what is going on. Once the manager was fired from the Bank of America the red flag should have went up then. I blame the DC Government for not managing this department. It makes you wonder how many other departments under the District of Columbia watch is being used as a front for ones own greed without anybody knowing. 18 years is not nearly enough time and a plea deal should not have come into play with all the evidence against all parties involved.

Posted by: Wanda | September 17, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Why does it not surprise me that this amoral cretin just LOOVES to head off to Las Vegas and Atlantic City?

Harriette Walters is the poster child for the suburban American Dream writ large.

Posted by: ibc | September 17, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

D.C. Government at its finest. It is a known fact that the D.C. government has always had scandal and operated well below professional standards but it just seemed to be how they handled things and no one saw the problem. I have always said I hope nothing ever happened to me in the good ole Nations Capital. Where were the auditors in this? From my work experience where ever I have worked was on top of their money matters, it definitely did not take 20 years to find out something was not right. How could she have been the last sign off on such large money amounts? At what point did she have to turn in reports for her transactions? This is absolutely ridiculous! A plea bargin should have never been offered...she STOLE more than a lifetime worth of money and blatantly lived a high end lifestyle. If you ask me the red flag should have flown high then! But yet and still sell crack get life! Once again D.C. Government at its finest!

Posted by: MorgansMom | September 17, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

You're right MorgansMom, DC government employees should behave more like their counterparts in the private sector, where mismanagement and scandal are virtually unknown. I was discussing this idea with my friend from Fannie Mae over the weekend; and just this morning, another friend, this one from Bear Stearns, called to echo the thought. The old "government workers are lazy good for nothings" bit is a tired, old cliché, and I’m sick of hearing it. I’ve worked both sides of the fence in my lifetime. The fact of the matter is that there are brilliant people working in government as well as the private sector. And there are also idiots working in each arena. If you think the DC govt talent pool is shallow, apply for a job and fix it. They're hiring.

Posted by: IHeartDC | September 17, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I Heart IHeartDC

Posted by: Downtown Rez | September 17, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

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