SPOKANE, Wash. - A former Spokane County Department of Risk worker was arraigned Wednesday on theft charges after she allegedly stole $1.38 million from the county by filing fake claims on the behalf on 45 people over 10 years.
Rhonda Sue Ackerman allegedly had the claim payments sent directly to her office. She then had the claimants, many of which she knew as friends of her son, to give the bulk of the funds back to her, according to the charging documents.
The alleged fraud was identified and investigated by the Washington State Auditor, the Attorney General's Office and Spokane police. The Internal Revenue System also conducted an investigation.
Investigators, upon pulling Ackerman's gambling records from the Northern Quest Resort and Casino, found that she gambled with millions of dollars, over $2 million in 2014.
Ackerman is charged with first-degree theft, a felony is Spokane County.