Monday, January 14, 2008

Ex-hotel manager surrenders to the FBI

$1.4 million in guest payments allegedly stolen


A former Tukwila hotel manager accused of stealing $1.4 million by diverting guest payments into his personal bank account turned himself in to the FBI on Monday.

Brian Fleet, 41, had been on the run for more than a year, federal authorities said.

Fleet used his position as general manager of the Residence Inn in Tukwila to defeat the hotel's computerized accounting system and steal checks submitted by month-to-month guests, according to court papers.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Barbosa said he doesn't know why Fleet decided to turn himself in or what his life as a fugitive was like.

An FBI "wanted" poster said "Fleet is known to enjoy golf, gambling (and) attending professional sporting events."

According to court papers, Fleet began intercepting checks and depositing them in his own business account in 1999, continuing until April 2005.

Fleet, who made his first federal court appearance in Seattle on Monday, will remain in custody on four counts of wire fraud pending a detention hearing Friday.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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