Defendant in Anderson embezzlement case sentenced

Fairbanks, Alaska (KINY) – 37-year-old Anderson resident Trista Nichole Jennings pleaded guilty to Theft in the First Degree from the city of Anderson, Alaska. Superior Court Judge Kirk Schwalm accepted the plea and sentenced Trista Jennings according to the plea agreement to three years imprisonment with eighteen months suspended and probation for three years.

Jennings was charged on May 17, 2023, with Theft in the First Degree and Scheme to Defraud.  Jennings served as a city clerk in Anderson beginning in 2018. In May 2023, Anderson Mayor Samantha Thomson reported to Alaska State Troopers that all the city’s bank accounts had been emptied by Jennings over the previous couple of years. A thorough investigation conducted by the Alaska State Troopers revealed that Jennings had used a system shifting funds from one City account to another and then to her accounts while keeping the records from the City’s accounting firm.  As the accounts emptied in the spring of 2023, she began depositing checks from accounts with insufficient funds and then withdrawing cash from credited funds to cover the fact that the accounts were empty.  A search warrant of her home confirmed the theft of funds from the city, as well as recently purchased televisions, gaming systems, and computers. Jennings admitted to the theft during the search to investigating troopers.  The investigation revealed that she had stolen $141,859.17, which was ordered to be repaid as restitution. 

Jennings is currently in the custody of the Alaska Department of Corrections.