Woman admits embezzling from Danielle Steel

September 29, 2009 10:23:23 AM PDT
A former employee of Danielle Steel who embezzled more than $400,000 from the romance novelist has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion. Forty-seven-year-old Kristy Watts, also known as Kristy Siegrist, entered the plea last week in San Francisco federal court.

Watts worked for Steel for 15 years, handling payroll and accounting and coordinating household and travel expenses.

Authorities say Watts deposited numerous checks made out to "cash" in her own bank account, used the author's credit card rewards points and paid herself more than her salary.

Watts' attorney, Tony Brass, says his client takes full responsibility and regrets her actions.

Steel has sued Watts claiming she defrauded her of $2.7 million. She faces up to 40 years in prison when she's sentenced Feb. 4.

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