Former Spokane County worker to repay $1.38 million in stolen public funds


SPOKANE, Wash. — A former Spokane County worker who pleaded guilty to first-degree theft was ordered to repay $1.38 million in stolen public funds and serve prison time.

According to court documents, Rhonda Sue Ackerman, who worked as a liability claims technician for Spokane County, stole $1,378,541 over the course of a decade by filing dozens of fake claims.

The Office of the Attorney General’s Office says Ackerman directed the claimants, which were relatives or friends of her son, to cash the checks and deliver most of the funds back to her.

Ackerman used these funds on gambling, new cars, and lavish gifts.

At a hearing on Wednesday, Ackerman was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, as well as repaying the $1.38 million in stolen public funds.

“Justice was done today,” said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “This prosecution sends an important message: My prosecutors and I will hold those who engage in public corruption accountable.”

Ackerman was arraigned in October of 2021, and pleaded guilty to first-degree theft in October 2022.

Her fraud scheme was discovered when the Spokane County Auditor’s Office found an uncashed check for $8,963.45.

Ackerman’s 45 “claimants” included relatives, family friends and friends of her 18-year-old son. Ackerman gave each claimant $100 to $200 for each check cashed.

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