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September 29, 2009

Do any of you longtime Walnut Creekans know Kristy Watts? Or Kristy Siegrist? Danielle Steel's thieving bookkeeper might be a hometown gal

I don't want to sound snobby, but I've never read a Danielle Steel book. I do know the "prolific" romance novelist's house, though. I lived within walking/jogging distance during the time I lived in San Francisco. Among Pacific Heights mansions, it is among the most massive and monumental. This 55-room mansion stands majestically and neo-Classically (and needing a new paint job, I always thought) just across Washington Street from Lafayette Park.

Apparently, the five-time married Steel, a fixture of San Francisco society, now has some new material to work with--being the victim of a crime, committed by her longtime, trusted bookkeeper.

This bookkeeper, identified as Kristy Watts, 47, of San Rafael, has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and four counts of tax evastion. She is accused of stealing at least $400,000 from the best-selling author while working for her from 1993 to 2008. The San Francisco Chronicle says that Watts kept the books, handled payroll and accounting, and coordinated household and travel expenses for Steel.

Investigators determined Watts had deposited checks from Steel's accounts into her own account and used Steel's credit cards for herself. After firing Watts, Steel sued her for $2.7 million, alleging that Watts used much of the money she stole to remodel, decorate and landscape a home on G Street in San Rafael that she bought in 2004. (Here is a photo of the living room of that G Street home. It looks like it could belong to the heroine of a Steel novel, doesn't it?)

What might make Watts an interesting figure for us in Walnut Creek is that, according to a Claycord.com reader, she is a hometown gal. Watts is also listed, in federal criminal records, as Kristy Siegrist. Some snooping of my own shows that there was a person with this name who attended Northgate High in the early 1980s and was a Broncos' All-American swimmer.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I must've just missed her at Northgate...what a shame. I've heard Danielle is a challenge to work for, but stealing is stealing and is so very wrong.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and she is tied to the law enforcement community in S.F., Ca.

Anonymous said...

Her husband is a SFPD sergeant.

Anonymous said...

She was my best friend in grade school. Swam with her for years, good family, very involved. She just made some very bad decisions.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - you said you knew Kristy very well and swam with her for years, I am thinking I know you too. Rip-Roar on FB.

Leland Bartlett said...

Well - connect with me Anonymous from August 11, 2014. Send me an invite - cause if you know me and Kristy, then I know you.

Anonymous said...

Kristy was a member of the Walnut Creek Aquabears swim team. She was a very good swimmer, regularly going to Senior Nationals. I think she graduated from Northgate High School in 1980. I don't know what happended to her after that.

As a fellow swimmer, I found her to be somewhat snotty and conceited, although she wasn't nearly as bad as some of her friends on the team: Sue Kafka, Ellen Lewis, and Ann Ardell.

Her brother Gary was also an Aquabear. He was a bit younger than Kristy, and certainly less bright.

Physically, Kristy was short and somewhat stocky. I always thought she'd never find a partner. At the least, she didn't seem satisfied with what she was able to achieve in other areas with legal means.