Danielle Steel's Aide Admits $400G Ripoff

Novelist's checking account, credit cards raided

Author Danielle Steel's former aide pleaded guilty wire fraud and tax evasion for embezzling $400,000 from the novelist.

Kristy Watts, 47, worked for Steel from 1993 to 2008, when she was fired, during which time she handled the author's finances. Watts deposited Steel's checks into her own bank account, made purchases using the novelist's credit card reward points, and paid herself more than her agreed-upon salary.

Watts made false entries in Steel's accounting system in order to hide her embezzlement.

Steel, the author of over 76 best-sellers, said she believed Watts used much of the money to remodel, decorate, and landscape a home she purchased in 2004.

Get more:  San Francisco Chronicle

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