SHARECOMMENTMORE

TAMPA, Fla. -- Keomala Phandara Khammanivong pleaded guilty Monday to stealing and embezzling funds from the Pinellas County Housing Authority.

Khammanivong was employed as a clerk by the Pinellas County Housing Authority (PCHA) at the French Villas in St. Petersburg for approximately one month in 2008.

While there, Khammanivong was responsible for receiving, counting and balancing payments of rent made by the tenants along with making daily bank deposits.

According to court documents, Khammanivong received money orders from various PCHA tenants and either altered or wrote out the money orders in her name.

She then deposited the altered money orders in her personal bank account, instead of depositing the funds in the PCHA accounts. Thefts totaled just over $23,000, according to the Department of Justice.

Khammanivong faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison.