A Cheyenne woman accused of embezzling about $255,000 from the Cheyenne Little Theater established a plea agreement Thursday in federal court and is scheduled to enter the plea this month.
The federal government in November charged Carissa Dunn-Pollard with five counts of wire fraud for allegedly embezzling the money from the theater while she worked as the nonprofit organization’s bookkeeper.
The U.S. District Court for Wyoming filed a plea agreement in her case Thursday, but its contents are not public. Before the plea agreement, Dunn-Pollard faced up to 100 years in prison.
But a new charging document also appeared in her case Thursday that alleges one count of wire fraud and another count of tax evasion. On the same day, the court closed her earlier, five-charge case.
She now may face between zero and 21 years in prison, unless her plea agreement has a maximum sentencing limitation.
Pollard is scheduled to plead guilty March 31.
The investigation began in May, when representatives of Cheyenne Little Players Inc. reported to law enforcement that they believed Dunn-Pollard had stolen at least $255,500 from the organization.
Dunn-Pollard was the theatre’s bookkeeper from May 2016 to May 2022. She was responsible for maintaining the theatre’s financial records, paying bills, managing payroll and creating W-2 forms, including her own, the original case affidavit states.
People from the nonprofit reported “unusual transfers” from the theatre’s bank accounts between Sept. 20, 2020, and May 2022 to an outside and “unknown” bank account later believed to belong to Dunn-Pollard and her husband.
Between May 2019 and April 2022, there were 111 “payroll deposits” made from the theatre’s account into Dunn-Pollard’s totaling $278,550, the affidavit says.
The deposits reportedly ranged from $300 to $6,000 each, and that there were occasions on which the account received “payroll deposits” multiple days in a row. For example, law enforcement agents found a $1,000 payment Jan. 5, 2021, another $1,000 payment the next day and another the day after that.
In June, two $4,000 payments were allegedly made two days in a row.
Because the payments were routed through the Federal Reserve Bank they crossed state lines, though their beginning and end destination were both in Cheyenne. Sparks indicated that this interstate travel gives the federal government jurisdiction to prosecute the crime.
On “several occasions” between January and May 2022, theatre management emailed Dunn-Pollard requesting access to the organization’s QuickBooks account, the complaint says.
“The theatre’s multiple email requests for access to their own QuickBooks account were met with delay tactics from Dunn-Pollard, ranging from out-of-state travel to inability to gain access to the theatre’s account,” wrote the case agent.
Dunn-Pollard is alleged to have emailed April 29 that, “My master (Quick Books) file is corrupt … 3 of my personal accounts and yours have scrambled themselves together.”
In late May, Dunn-Pollard gave theatre management a username and password for its QuickBooks account, the affidavit says. But theatre officials reported to law enforcement that there was no data available from 2018 through May 2022.