Linda Kay Miller, 51, Alma, Kan., was charged in an indictment unsealed Sept. 20 with three counts of interstate transportation of fraudulently altered securities. The indictment alleges that the crimes took place while Miller worked as an office manager for the institute from August 2007 to January 2013. The institute receives grant money from the federal government to provide infectious disease research programs that address threats to plant, animal and human health.
Miller had access to checks that were sent to the institute by outside agencies and organizations. She used her position to embezzle funds by diverting checks sent to the institute. She altered the checks to make herself either a payee or co-payee and deposited the proceeds into one of her personal bank accounts. The proceeds moved in interstate commerce as part of the fed-wire process to clear and negotiate the checks. The indictment identifies three specific checks Miller is alleged to have diverted: A check for $5,000 from the FSU Research Foundation in Tallahassee, Fla.; a check for $6,108.58 from the Frontline Healthcare Workers Safety Foundation in Atlanta, Ga.; and a check for $955 from J.M. Oconnor Inc., in Lenexa, Kan.
The government is seeking a money judgment of $16,523.58 against Miller.
If convicted, Miller faces a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. Investigating agencies include the FBI, the Kansas State University Police Department and the Wabaunsee County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Hathaway is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.