LOS ANGELES – A former employee of the Glendale City Attorney’s Office has been charged with embezzling $609,764 she illegally obtained by creating documents to make it appear the money was being used to pay civil claims against the city.
Cassandra Alexander, 53, who resides in the Winnetka district of Los Angeles, was charged yesterday with one count of theft from an organization receiving federal funds. In a plea agreement also filed yesterday, Alexander agreed to plead guilty to the felony offense.
Alexander was a claims and litigation support supervisor at the Glendale City Attorney’s Office, where she was responsible for assembling “Settlement Packets” that were used to resolve claims against Glendale for personal injury or property damage. Each Settlement Packet contained approval of the settlement by a member of the City Attorney’s and the City Council, as well as authorization for the city’s Finance Department to issue a check to the claimant.
Alexander, who had unlimited authority to sign documents directing the Finance Department to issue checks, was responsible for picking up the checks and providing them to claimants’ attorneys.
Beginning in July 2001, and continuing through March 2017, Alexander created and submitted fraudulent Settlement Packets that caused the Finance Department to issue 30 checks to her family members and acquaintances, according to the plea agreement. Alexander created bogus settlement agreements and fake minutes of City Council meetings.
After the Finance Department prepared the checks, Alexander took possession of the checks and provided them to the payees, who cashed them and transferred the money to Alexander, she admitted in the plea agreement. The Glendale Police Department seized from Alexander a check for $82,500, which was payable to a family member, before she was able to have it cashed.
Alexander will receive a summons directing her to appear in United States District Court for an arraignment in the coming weeks.
The charge of theft from an organization receiving federal funds carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received substantial assistance from the Glendale Police Department and the full cooperation of other city departments.