United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington

03/28/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/28/2024 16:00

Woman who embezzled nearly $400,000 from Renton, Washington company sentenced to 10-month prison term

Press Release

Woman who embezzled nearly $400,000 from Renton, Washington company sentenced to 10-month prison term

Thursday, March 28, 2024
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Created account using identity of deceased employee to file 58 different claims for reimbursement

Seattle - A 32-year-old Des Moines, Washington woman was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 10 months in prison for her scheme to steal nearly $400,000 from her employer, announced U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Trixie Dela Cruz was employed by a Renton, Washington company that administers employee benefits for employers nationwide. Within six months of her hiring and immediately after she had been promoted, Dela Cruz began her embezzlement scheme. Judge Lauren King sentenced Dela Cruz to three years of supervised release to follow the prison term, saying Dela Cruz had "abused the trust" of her employer with a scheme that "involved planning and continuous affirmative conduct."

According to records filed in the case, Dela Cruz was hired by the company in October 202o and in March 2021, was promoted to Account Associate. In that role, she managed client accounts and approved claims for benefits. Using her access, she created a duplicate account for a deceased employee of one of the clients. She connected the profile to her own bank account and then submitted and approved 58 fraudulent claims totaling $397,942. Dela Cruz would activate the profile for the fraudulent claim and then deactivate it so no record would show up for her company.

In January 2022, the company discovered the fraud and dismissed Dela Cruz. The company reimbursed the client for the fraudulent claims. Forensic analysis indicated Dela Cruz spent the money on gambling, cash application transfers to family and friends, and to pay for jewelry, travel, car payments and other shopping.

Judge King ordered full restitution to Dela Cruz former employer and its insurance company, which paid the bulk of the company's losses.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Jensen.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney's Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or [email protected].

Updated March 28, 2024
Financial Fraud