A 57-year-old woman working as a bookkeeper at a fishing operation in Kodiak -- a city on the Alaska island of the same name, where life largely revolves around the surrounding sea -- stands accused of stealing money from her employer and using it for plastic surgery, among other expenses.
Cindy Williams faces four felony charges for her allegedly intentional bad bookkeeping, including falsifying business records, theft and scheming to steal about $180,000. The goods supplying the stolen green were none other than big-mouthed rockfish.
According to the charges against Williams, she worked for Marcy J Inc., a license holder in the state’s Central Gulf Rockfish Program and member of the Star of Kodiak Rockfish Cooperative. The cooperative consists of 11 license holders with 10 fishing vessels, and it sells fish to Seattle-based Trident Seafoods.
The vessels caught millions of pounds of Pacific and northern rockfish, sablefish, halibut and other fish in 2013, according to an annual state rockfish program report. This year, Marcy J Inc. hooked an alleged criminal while ashore.
Marcilee Jones reported to Kodiak police in late August that her new bookkeeper discovered a number of alleged thefts by the previous accounting clerk. The books weren’t balanced, she told police, and four handwritten checks made out to Williams weren’t in the computer system. The checks totaled $21,632, according to the charging document, and further documentation showed the checks being deposited into Williams’ bank account.
Jones gave the Kodiak police a report documenting Williams’ salary over the past three years, and the report indicated more than $30,000 in pay discrepancies. Williams also allegedly claimed 80-hour workweeks and on one occasion doubled a $1,000 Christmas bonus.
A week after initial contact with police, Jones returned with more incriminating evidence, a credit card with charges totaling nearly $150,000. Williams allegedly obtained the credit card by using Jones’ husband’s bank account. She had access to a notebook containing business and personal account information, including the Jones’ banking passwords, the charges say.
When the investigating officer contacted Williams, she “admitted using the credit card for a plastic surgeon, Terry Dubrow Medical California totaling $29,710,” the charges say. She also said she spent the money on QVC online shopping, airline tickets to Hawaii for herself and her friend and a used 2011 Toyota Camry.
Marcy J Inc. declined to comment on the charges.
In all, the charges say Williams took more than $179,000. An out-of-custody arraignment is set for April 4 in Kodiak.