A Cheyenne woman pleaded guilty Friday to embezzling more than $200,000 from Cheyenne Little Theater while working as its bookkeeper and for failing to file a tax return.
Carrisa Dunn-Pollard, 45, gave guilty pleas for the felony embezzlement charge and misdemeanor tax charge during a change of plea hearing, speaking clearly throughout.
“I made … deposits from the theater’s account to my personal account that were unauthorized and failed to report them on financial statements,” Dunn-Pollard told the court.
“I didn’t file my tax returns in 2021 in a timely manner,” she continued, clarifying later that she failed to do so on purpose.
Dunn-Pollard gave her guilty pleas after a March 6 plea agreement in which the assistant U.S. Attorney on the case, Margaret Vierbuchen, agreed to seek a prison term at the “low end” of the sentencing guidelines, about 27-33 months in prison.
The crimes together are punishable by up to 21 years in prison and $275,000 in fines, plus three years of supervised release.
Has To Pay Money Back
Judge Alan B. Johnson warned Dunn-Pollard that though prosecutors and other attorneys advise the court, ultimately sentencing terms are the judge’s decision.
If Johnson imposes a longer sentence than the prosecutor requests, Dunn-Pollard still will be bound to her guilty pleas, he said.
Another term of Dunn-Pollard’s plea agreement is that she will pay back to the theater $220,481.57 in restitution.
She and the attorneys on the case have not yet decided what restitution she should pay to the IRS for the tax conviction.
Johnson allowed Dunn-Pollard to remain free from incarceration during the coming months ahead of her scheduled June 21 sentencing hearing. The judge noted that Dunn-Pollard has complied with every stipulation of her release so far.
With her conviction, Dunn-Pollard loses the right to vote, seek and hold public office, serve on a jury and possess guns.
“In Wyoming, it’s that last thing that seems to get people in trouble,” said Johnson.
The investigation began in May 2022, 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 theater’s bookkeeper from May 2016 to May 2022
Johnson ordered a presentence investigation report ahead of Dunn-Pollard’s sentencing. The report is a detailed account of the defendant’s life and issues, designed to acquaint the court with the defendant before sentencing.