KINGMAN – Special Agents with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office working jointly with Immigration & Customs Homeland Security Investigations arrested a former City of Kingman employee announced Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Former Budget Analyst and Interim Finance Director Diane Maxine Richards is accused of stealing more than a million dollars from the City of Kingman. The arrest comes after a State Grand Jury indicted Richards on 23 felony counts including theft, forgery, and misuse of public monies.
“Protecting the hardworking taxpayers of Arizona is a top priority," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Taxpayers are the real victims in cases involving theft and misuse of public monies. Our office will continue to work with HSI and all law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute these cases."
In September 2015, Special Agents with the Attorney General's Office and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) launched an investigation after financial institutions reported unusual activity involving Richards bank accounts.
Investigators found Richards allegedly misused a City of Kingman credit card to pay for her personal expenses from July 2007 through January 2015. Those personal expenses include payments to Richards’ personal cell phone, utility, and car insurance bills. Richards is alleged to have submitted falsified invoices to account for the charges. She also is alleged to have used the City of Kingman credit card to pay off cash advances taken out at various casinos in Laughlin, Nevada. The total amount Richards allegedly spent on this City of Kingman credit card without authorization is $121,862.11.
From September 2008 to November 2015, Richards allegedly misappropriated money from a bank account used by the City of Kingman to fund its Employee Benefits Trust. The indictment alleges Richards misused her position as Security Manager on the account to alter the access settings and granted herself sole authority to both initiate and approve transactions. Richards is also alleged to have transferred money out of the account to pay off 17 personal lines of credit. A large portion of the money was used to allegedly cover cash advances taken out on Richards’ credit cards at casinos in Laughlin. This conduct continued until Richards was terminated in November 2015 following the execution of search warrants at her home and Kingman City Hall. Richards is accused of misappropriating $991,727.74 from the Employee Benefits Trust account.
The total amount Richards is alleged to have taken is $1,113,589.85. Richards is being held at the Mohave County Jail on a $100,000 bond. All defendants are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.
This case was investigated by Special Agent Dilsher Ali with the Attorney General's Office Special Investigations Section.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Powell.
For additional information, members of the media may contact Mia Garcia, Director of Media Relations at (602) 339-5895 or Mia.Garcia@azag.gov.
Full copy of the Indictment.