Lauretta Simmons was convicted of embezzling $93,500 from then Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge’s campaign in 2000. Ridge went on to become the nation’s first Secretary of Homeland Security.
After declaring herself to be “very remorseful” after her first conviction, she found work with a public relations and real estate firm. In 2006, according to bank records, Simmons began writing checks to herself out of the firm’s accounts. Court documents allege Simmons used the money to purchase a $225,000 property in Aruba, $40,000 worth of wine and more than $37,000 worth of gold and silver coins.