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Former Alaska City Treasurer sentenced for embezzling $1 million

Former Treasurer of Alaska city sentenced

Jess Adams was the City of Houston, Alaska’s Treasurer from 2015 through 2018. Adams was found to have full access to the city’s record-keeping and accounts and abused his position to further his own gains.

The IRS Criminal Investigation Department, in conjunction with the Alaska State Troopers, investigated the case.

“Mr. Adams abused his positions of trust to greedily deceive and steal from victims and the U.S. government,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. “His actions caused serious, life-long harm for some of the victims.”

City of Houston Treasurer sentenced

According to statements and court documents in his sentencing, Adams used the city’s electronic record-keeping systems to commit a million-dollar litany of fraud and embezzlement.

He set up a fake account to siphon money from seemingly legitimate businesses and bill them as routine charges and expenses. This resulted in his hidden bank account bulging with money that should have been used in Houston.

He was placed on administrative leave in 2018, and then the city of Houston resigned his position. This did not dissuade Adams from continuing to embezzle from his new employer, an equipment company.

He continued using their bookkeeping software to create hidden and falsified accounts. Then, he processed false transactions in his personal bank account in multiple $10,000 transfers.

Adams did not file tax returns that disclosed the additional income or the payments made to him via his illicit transactions. Between 2016 and 2021, none of the tax returns he processed were remotely correct. This is staggering, considering he held a role as a former seasonal tax return preparer for a national tax advisory company.

“Stealing from both the government and from members of the community, Mr. Adams chose to cause great harm wherever he worked,” said Special Agent in Charge Adam Jobes, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Seattle Field Office. “Because financial crimes cause real damage to real people, there are consequences for committing these crimes, as Mr. Adams is learning today. IRS-CI is committed to putting a stop to criminals who prey on the well-being of our communities.”

The corrupt accountant will now serve a thirty-month stint in prison for his embezzlement. His sentence included a $1.5 million fine and restitution to be also paid back to the City of Houston and his previous equipment company employer.

Adams will be monitored as part of a three-year supervised release sentence.

Image: Ideogram.

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