Kenai woman indicted on new fraud charges

  • By DAN BALMER
  • Friday, December 5, 2014 5:45pm
  • News

A Kenai woman already in prison for theft has been subpoenaed to appear for arraignment on 85 new fraud and forgery charges of a Kenai business in 2012.

On Monday a Kenai Grand Jury indicted Kathi Malston, 40, for scheming to defraud, first-degree theft, 14 counts of forgery in the second-degree, 15 counts of falsifying business records and 42 felony counts of unauthorized use of an access device. Malston was also charged with six misdemeanor counts of unauthorized use of an access device.

Scheme to defraud and first-degree theft are both class B felonies and carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to $100,000 fine for each charge. Forgery in the second-degree, falsifying business records and fraudulent use of access device are class C felonies that hold a maximum five years in prison and up to $50,000 fine.

The charges stem from Malston’s time as an accountant for Fire Control Systems, a Kenai-based fire protection equipment supplier. An employee of the business reported to Alaska State Troopers on Nov. 30, 2012 that Malston had embezzled a large sum of money, according to a troopers dispatch.

An investigation from the Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s Financial Crimes Unit lead to the seizure of evidence and troopers allege Malston stole more than $28,000 from the business.

Malston was first arraigned in Kenai Court on Sept. 27, 2013 on four forgery and theft charges. Malston plead guilty to second-degree theft on Aug. 14 and on Sept. 30, a year after her arraignment, Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran sentenced Malston to four years in prison with two years suspended.

Part of Malston’s sentence denied her to possess checks or have a checking or savings account. Moran also denied her from employment to where she would have access to an employer’s financial account.

Malston is currently in custody at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River, a housing facility for female prisoners. According to the Department of Corrections, Malston is scheduled to be released in April 2015.

The new charges result from an ongoing investigation of her time employed with Fire Control Systems in 2012.

According to the indictment document, Malston knowingly forged 14 business checks and made 48 fraudulent credit card purchases between January and October 2012.

The falsified checks averaged more than $600 each. Malston falsified business records to show payments made to Alaska Communications Systems, Air Gas, Air Liquide, Brooks Equipment Company and Tyco Fire Suppression and Building Products among others.

Malston allegedly used the company credit card to make purchases at Everybody Rides on three separate occasions. Malston also charged purchases with American Eagle Outfitters, Progressive Insurance and for lodging at Millennium Hotel in Anchorage.

She is also alleged to have used the company’s credit card locally at Paradisos restaurant and to pay for a Soldotna lawyer.

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