Lakewood ex-cop gets more jail time for theft from officers fund

TACOMA. Wash. - Former Lakewood police officer Skeeter Manos pleaded guilty Friday in Tacoma on state charges for stealing the identity of a certified public accountant and forging documents in his name.

He earlier was convicted on federal charges of stealing $112,000 from a fund intended to benefit the families of four Lakewood officers shot to death in a coffee shop in November 2009 and $47,000 from the Lakewood Police independent Guild. His earlier sentence included paying restitution of both amounts.

On Friday, Manos, 36, pleaded guilty to second-degree identity theft and forgery, said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. He was sentenced to nine months behind bars in addition to a 33-month federal prison sentence.

Manos has been in federal prison since last September, serving time for his prior federal conviction for wire fraud.

"These charges were intended to ensure full accountability for the defendant," Lindquist said. "Lakewood Chief Bret Farrar and his officers actively encouraged the investigation involving this additional victim. This guilty plea ends a sad chapter."

According to prosecutors, Manos, while working as the treasurer of the guild, stole the identity of a certified public accountant and forged documents in his name.

The charges stem from a March 2011 request by the guild for an audit into the guild's spending. In July 2011, the results of the audit prepared and signed by a CPA were posted on the guild's website.

When the guild's president contacted the cited accountant to request copies of the group's tax returns, the accountant told him he had not prepared tax returns for the guild since 2005, and had not dealt with the guild at all since 2007. The accountant added he had not prepared or signed the 2011 audit.

Tacoma police began investigating the audit at the request of Chief Farrar, and learned e-mails purporting from the accountant had been sent from Manos' IP address. Investigators also learned the messages had been sent from an e-mail address that was foreign to the accountant himself.