Overland Park woman admits stealing from federal co-workers

An Overland Park woman pleaded guilty in Kansas City federal court Wednesday to stealing more than $100,000 from three co-workers at the Department of Agriculture.

Paula M. Steen, a 49-year-old former information technology specialist for the Farm Service Agency, admitted that for four years beginning in late December 2008 she attempted to steal more than $113,000 from co-workers in a wire fraud and identity theft scheme. Prosecutors said the actual loss was about $10,000 less.

Steen admitted that she targeted one co-worker because the person was legally blind. Steen agreed in her plea agreement that she should receive a longer sentence because she had taken advantage of a “vulnerable victim.”