General

Danielle Steel and the just noticed missing $2.7 million

Author files civil lawsuit after bookkeeper of 15 years pleads guilty to fraud

Danielle Steel, the quintessential airport fiction writer, has been manufacturing bestsellers at the rate of two a year for three decades, some 76 in total. Her back catalogue—she has half a billion copies in circulation—sells well enough to keep her flush, to the tune of $30 million last year alone. Small wonder she has trouble keeping track of the loose change. No longer. She’s filed suit in her hometown of San Francisco, alleging that Kristy Watts, her bookkeeper for 15 years, embezzled $2.7 million from her over the past six years, some of it by using Steel’s credit card rewards on Watts’ own family. Watts has already admitted to embezzling $400,000 in a low-profile criminal case in which Steel was referred to only as “employer A.” In her civil lawsuit the author uses her most recent married name, Danielle Perkins, and claims irregularities in Watts books came to light last November.

The Independent

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