A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted a former accountant for the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross on charges of embezzling more than $100,000 from the charity.
The indictment papers allege that Karen Shuerger, 58, formerly assistant director of accounting for the organization, ordered travelers checks ostensibly for the Red Cross and then spent them on herself and her family. It also accuses Shuerger of misusing a corporate credit card and altering financial records to hide her crimes.
According to the indictment, the checks were meant to pay for disaster aid and for relief workers' travel expenses. Instead, it states, Shuerger used travelers checks at Home Depot and spending money on visits to Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Nevada. Personal items she allegedly bought include Gateway computers, a waterproof digital camera from the Sharper Image, membership to the San Diego Zoo, and Major League Baseball products.