A now fired Lakewood police officer admits he stole more
than $100,000 from a fund for the families of murdered
Skeeter Manos, 34, pleaded guilty to a single count of
wire fraud in connection with embezzling more than
$112,000. He also admitted he embezzled more than $47,000
from the Lakewood Independent Police Guild. The disgraced
officer had faced ten counts.
The plea agreements comes with a recommended prison
sentence of 21 to 33 months and a commitment to pay back
the stolen donations. But, there’s no guarantee.
“Many times, criminal defendants in the federal system are
not able to make full restitution immediately (but)
they’re required to make payment as conditions permit,”
said assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Westinghouse.
In court, Manos admitted he withdrew donations to a fund
for the families of four Lakewood officers shot and killed
inside a Parkland coffee shop on November 29, 2009.
According to court documents, Manos set up a separate,
secret bank account to divert about $151,000 intended for
the families to his account. He used about $112,000 at
Costco, Home Depot, for Alaska Airlines tickets to Las
Vegas, and spending money at casinos.
In May 2009, Manos began writing checks from the Lakewood
Police Officers Guild accounts and deposited them into a
Washington State Employees Credit Union account set up in
his name. Manos embezzled $47,000 of guild funds for
Manos was arrested on Feb. 8, but was released on bond.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 15.
The public donated more than $3.2 million to the fund to
benefit families of the murdered Lakewood police officers.