A former president of the CNMI Association of Families with Disabilities who faces charges of embezzling at least $5,000 of the group's funds pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the NMI yesterday.
Elisa Borja Ada agreed to waive indictment and pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from a program receiving federal funds. She will be sentenced on Feb. 22, 2013 at 9am.
Ada, also known as Elisa Ada Aldan and Lisa A. Ada, was allowed to remain free pending her sentencing.
The crime carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000, as well as mandatory restitution.
Under the plea deal, the U.S. government agreed to recommend to the court, regardless of the guideline range ultimately determined by the U.S. Probation Office, that Ada be given a probation sentence.
Steven Pixley is the court-appointed counsel for the defendant. Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe represents the U.S. government.
CAFD was a local government agency receiving benefits in excess of $10,000 in 2007 and 2008 under federal grants awarded by the U.S. Administration on Developmental Disabilities.
Beginning 2007, Ada started embezzling CAFD funds by, among other things, causing CAFD checks to be issued to various individuals, forging those individuals' signatures, and then cashing the checks at local markets on Saipan.
In addition, Ada caused 11 checks drawn on a “payroll account” held by CAFD at BankPacific to be issued and which she later converted to her own use. The amounts ranged from $639 to $1,341.02.
Ada also embezzled funds by taking advantage of the fact that she owned office space used by CAFD in 2007 and 2008. She caused checks drawn on a “payroll account” held by CAFD at Bank of Saipan to be issued to her for advance rent payments.
Oftentimes, she received multiple payments in a single month, ultimately resulting in her being paid $8,900 more than she was owed.
Ada used to be the collection branch manager at the Department of Finance's Division of Tax & Revenue.