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Skeeter Manos
JUNE 29 UPDATE: Skeeter Timothy Manos was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

**Original Post**

It's hard to forget a guy like Skeeter


In Asking for Full Sentence, Federal Prosecutors Call Skeeter Manos' Crime 'Despicable,' 'Brazen,' and 'Heartless'

Thumbnail image for skeeter.jpg
Skeeter Manos
JUNE 29 UPDATE: Skeeter Timothy Manos was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

**Original Post**

It's hard to forget a guy like Skeeter Manos. But just in case anyone had, the former Lakewood cop who pleaded guilty in March to stealing large sums of money from a fund set up for the families of four Lakewood police officers murdered by Maurice Clemons is about to be all over the news again. Sentencing in the case is scheduled to be argued Friday, and federal prosecutors are asking for the book to be thrown at the disgraced former cop.

In pleading guilty to a single count of wire fraud (he was originally charged with 10), Manos has admitted to stealing $112,000 to the charity fund, not to mention $47,000 to the Lakewood Police Independent Guild, which he was president of at the time of the crime.

Maurice Clemmons shot Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Greg Richards and Ronald Owens on Nov. 29, 2009 at a Forza coffee in Lakewood. The killings shook the community, and led to a massive outpouring of support - which financially totaled more than $3 million in donations from the public.

As a story by Adam Lynn of The News Tribune noted yesterday, Manos is looking at a prison sentence in the range of 27 to 33 months. Federal prosecutor Robert Westinghouse, in a sentencing memorandum filed Friday, June 22, asked the court to go big and impose the full 33 month sentence, in addition to requiring Manos to fork over full restitution - totaling $159,000 in money he stole from the charity and the guild.

As manager for the fund benefiting the families of the four fallen Lakewood police officers, court documents indicate Manos used a debit card connected with the account to skim money for himself and his family - wining and dining his wife on elaborate trips, blowing $7,000 at Home Depot, and making regular trips to local casinos.

The sentencing memorandum filed Friday describe Manos' thievery:

The defendant systematically drained the proceeds in this account by using a debit card to make cash withdrawals. These withdrawals occurred between February 12, 2010, and February 20, 2011, and totaled approximately $51,000. During this period, Defendant made more than one hundred separate cash withdrawals using the debit card associated with this account. Included in this aggregate number are 21 separate cash withdrawals at the Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma, Washington; 20 separate cash withdrawals at the Hawks Priarie Casino, Lacey, Washington; and 9 separate cash withdrawals at the Macau Casino in Lakewood, Washington. This ATM activity also included two debits for $504.99 each, on April 24, 2010, and April 25, 2010, respectively, from ATM machines located at the Bellagio and Planet Hollywood hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In addition to the diversions of cash through these ATM withdrawals, defendant made steady use of the same account debit card to charge purchases through various online and brick-and-mortar merchants for his personal benefit and pleasure. For example, he charged the Alaska Airlines Las Vegas tickets, the Bellagio hotel room, and tickets for a Cirque du Soleil performance for his wife and him through Expedia. In addition, he bought truck parts, including a winch for his Jeep, from 4 Wheel Parts; computers, a television, and an air conditioner from Costco; snowboard equipment, climbing gear, winter clothing and jackets from REI; and a stainless steel refrigerator, microwave oven, and a dishwasher from The Home Depot. In all, Defendant made expenditures for well over a year from this secret account, using the debit card more than 225 separate times.

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Westinghouse puts Manos' crime in perspective in the same court documents:

As financial crimes come and go, defendant's criminal wrongdoing ranks at the very top of despicable acts. Indeed, it would be difficult to imagine thievery that is any more brazen or heartless. Much of the money stolen by Defendant had been donated by the community to honor four slain Lakewood Police Officers and to provide care and support for the families of these fallen public servants. Word of this thievery must have jolted those who gave their hard-earned money to their core. Who could be more deserving of trust or more the model of integrity than police officers seeking to ease their own pain and grief and the pain and financial burdens experienced by the families of their fellow officers who had been lost in the line of duty? Yet, Defendant managed to create doubt and distrust where trust and integrity had been accepted principals. The victim impact statements speak poignantly of the loss of good will and the tarnishing of the reputations of law enforcement officers, generally, and the Lakewood Police Officers and employees specifically. Indeed, one victim impact statement captures the magnitude of the harm by noting the embarrassment that many Lakewood Police Officers felt in donning their uniforms after news of this crime was published.

The effects of the defendant's criminality threaten to linger for years. Because defendant was himself, a Lakewood Police Office, his conduct implicitly impugns the trustworthiness and commitment to community of every other Lakewood Police Officer and law enforcement officers generally. Defendant's conduct has the potential to create an element of doubt in the public eye about the integrity and professionalism of all policemen and women, who devote their lives to public service.

And ...

The degree of defendant's depravity is perhaps best captured by his handling of a donation of cash and a hand-carved memorial knife from an Oregon law enforcement officer who had raised $5000 for the fallen officers by carving and selling a series of memorial knives. When this officer sought confirmation that the donation had been received, defendant, who had deposited the check into his secret account, made up a story to explain why the donation had not been credited to the charity fund. The search of defendant's residence, after his crime had been discovered, revealed the memorial knife that had been included with the cash.

Finally, addressing Manos' past, which includes time spent as a Marine and a Washington State Trooper, in addition to the "emotional trauma" and "difficult childhood" highlighted in the case by letters of support the former Lakewood police officer apparently produced from family and friends, Westinghouse notes:

Presumably these life experiences played some part in shaping the defendant. There is no clear path, however, from such a troubled and challenging background, to the present criminal conduct. Instead, it appears that much of the cause of defendant's criminal conduct was simple greed. He stole to have more toys; he stole to have more fun; and, he stole to gamble. There may have been financial pressures, but many Americans unfortunately experience such challenges, while few stoop to the lows exhibited by this man. It is just too easy to explain away the years of thievery through repeated ATM withdrawals and innumerable swipes of the debit cards on the secret charity and Guild accounts, all wrapped in lies and deceit, by the rationalization that defendant's troubled childhood, or perhaps, PTSD was the root cause. The pattern of criminal conduct does not fit this explanation.

Find the full sentencing memorandum filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office on the following page ...

Skeeter Manos Sentencing Memo

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