Diverted Donations and Police Officers Guild Money and Used it for Trips, Gambling, and Home Remodel
A Lakewood, Washington Police officer who served as the treasurer of the Lakewood Police Independent Guild was sentenced today to 33 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and $159,000 in restitution for wire fraud in connection with the embezzlement of more than $112,000 from a fund intended to benefit the families of four Lakewood Police Officers who were killed in the line of duty in November 2009. Skeeter Timothy Manos, 34, of Dupont, Washington, also admitted in March 2012 that he embezzled more than $47,000 from the Lakewood Police Independent Guild. Manos was arrested February 8, 2012. U.S. District Judge Robert L. Bryan imposed the sentence.
“Skeeter Manos’ betrayal runs wide and deep. He betrayed the families of the fallen officers, his colleagues in the Lakewood Police Department, and the community which contributed to recognize the four who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “His greed casts a deep shadow, but it can never trump the honor and sacrifice of our fallen officers.”
According to the facts in the plea agreement, Manos set up a secret bank account, distinct from the primary account established by the Lakewood Police Independent Guild, for donations to the Lakewood Police Officers’ families. Manos diverted approximately $151,000 intended for the families to this account. Manos then used about $112,000 from the account for purchases at Costco and Home Depot; for Alaska Airlines tickets to Las Vegas, Nevada; and for cash withdrawals at various casinos. Some of the cash withdrawals were made at the Bellagio casino in April 2010 and at the Hawks Prairie Casino in December 2010. The stolen money was just a portion of more than $3.2 million the public contributed for the benefit of the families of the murdered officers.
Additionally, in May 2009, Manos set up an account at Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU) in his name. Beginning in May 2009 and into 2011, Manos wrote checks from Lakewood Police Officer Guild accounts and deposited them into his WESCU account. Manos told guild officers he had purchased certificates of deposit with the funds. In fact, only $55,000 of funds went to CDs. Manos embezzled $47,000 of guild funds for his own use.
In asking for a sentence at the top of the guidelines range, prosecutors wrote to the court, “As financial crimes come and go, defendant’s criminal wrongdoing ranks at the very top of despicable acts. Indeed, it would be difficult to imagine thievery that is any more brazen or heartless. Much of the money stolen by defendant had been donated by the community to honor four slain Lakewood Police Officers and to provide care and support for the families of these fallen public servants. Word of this thievery must have jolted those who gave their hard-earned money to their core.”
The case was investigated by the FBI with the assistance of the Lakewood Police Department and the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.
Criminal Chief Robert Westinghouse prosecuted the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.