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Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Crime & Courts

Former Pinellas housing clerk pleads guilty to embezzling $23,126


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A 32-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling rent she was collecting for the Pinellas County Housing Authority and faces a decade in prison.

Keomala Phandara Khammanivong of St. Petersburg pleaded guilty Monday to stealing and embezzling funds from the agency, according to a release from acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley III.

From from July 7, 2008, to Aug. 8, 2012, Khammanivong was a cashier/clerk typist at the authority at the French Villas in St. Petersburg. The French Villas is a 185-unit complex along 54th Avenue N. in Lealman.

Her responsibilities included receiving, counting, and balancing payments of rent made by the tenants, issuing receipts to tenants, and making daily bank deposits, according to the release.

Khammanivong received money orders from PCHA tenants and either altered or wrote out the money orders in her name, the release said, and then deposited the money in her personal account, instead of the county account.

Khammanivong stole $23,126, from the housing authority and spent these funds for her personal use, the release said.

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