Former finance director embezzled $3M from Seattle non-profits

May 17, 2023, 11:56 AM | Updated: 12:16 pm

Seattle non-profits...

Gavel (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A former finance director of two Seattle non-profits pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $3 million to pay for her luxuries.

Susana Tantico of Renton admitted to embezzling money over the course of nine years, and she is being charged with two counts of wire fraud.

Restaurant owner in Tukwila pleads guilty to nearly $1M in wage theft

“Ms. Tantico was a trusted financial professional who sadly used her skills to steal from organizations serving those most in need of help,” said U.S. Attorney Nicholas Brown. “Each time she used the organization’s credit card for trips, gambling, or clothing, she knew she was effectively stealing from people who depended on assistance from her employer. Then she used her access to the organization ledgers to cover up the theft.  The true victims are the clients who should have been served with the funds she stole.”

The 62-year-old worked in the finance departments of Country Doctor Community Health Centers, which provides healthcare to low-income people, where she embezzled nearly $2.3 million to pay for family vacations and purchases at Nordstrom and Apple, and even withdrew $1.6 million at casinos for gambling. She stole the money from 2011 to 2020.

Tanico disguised the payments as legitimate and expensive, including medical supplies.

She later went to work at Community Passageways, which focused on youth and criminal justice issues, where she stole nearly $900,000. She used the money to pay off her mortgage and personal expenses and used more than $485,000 at casinos. She claimed that the non-profit held youth programs at the casinos and claimed the withdrawals were for cash prize giveaways.

The non-profit has spent $132,000 to forensically audit its books and fix its accounting procedures.

WA AG, DSHS fined $200K for withholding evidence

Tanico was investigated by the FBI in 2022, according to KUOW.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and prosecutors have recommended 41 months in prison.

Local News

missing girl Cle Elum river...

KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Missing 10-year-old girl found alive near Cle Elum River

A 10-year-old girl who was missing near the Cle Elum River for nearly 30 hours was found alive Monday afternoon.

18 hours ago

Caleb Heimlich...

Bill Kaczaraba

WA State Republican chair Caleb Heimlich stepping down

The chair of the Washington state Republican party, Caleb Heimlich, is stepping down effective August 12th.

18 hours ago

Garfield High...

Frank Sumrall

Garfield HS the focus of school safety precautions following nearby violence

Garfield High School and Nova High School both had its students return on campus in person Monday after locking down the campus last week.

18 hours ago

Burien encampment moved park...

Sam Campbell

Burien encampment moved again, now located at city park

A homeless encampment in downtown Burien is being cleared after a struggle between the city, county, and residents who want it gone.

18 hours ago

Great Seattle Fire...

Ted Buehner

Could ‘Great Seattle Fire’ happen again with current warm streak?

Tuesday, June 6 marks the date of the tragic 1889 Great Seattle Fire that burned 25 blocks of downtown waterfront Seattle.

18 hours ago

seattle raise child...

Bill Kaczaraba

Seattle ranks among most expensive in US to raise a child

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area ranks 34th in the nation in the cost to raise a child, according to a study from SmartAsset.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Former finance director embezzled $3M from Seattle non-profits