The federal court on Friday slapped a three-year probation sentence on Elisa Borja Ada, a former president of the CNMI Association of Families with Disabilities who embezzled the group's funds.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered Ada to pay $18,614.47 in restitution to the victim, the CNMI Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Ada, also known as Elisa Ada Aldan and Lisa A. Ada, was required to pay a $1,000 fine and $100 special court assessment fee. She was required to perform 100 hours of community service. She was ordered to spend six months in home detention.
Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe appeared for the U.S. government. Court-appointed counsel Steven Pixley served as counsel for Ada.
Ada pleaded guilty to embezzling funds from a program receiving federal funds.
The CNMI Association of Families with Disabilities 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 Development 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.
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, according to the prosecution.
Ada used to be the collection branch manager at the Department of Tax & Revenue.