Woman Charged Over Kiri Te Kanawa Theft
A bank manager has been charged with defrauding opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa out of more than $638,000 (£440,000).
American Sokvoeum Su, 27, has been arrested and charged with five counts of fraud and a further count of embezzlement after allegedly transferring money out of the singer's Californian bank account, and into her own.
The 65-year-old New Zealand-born star, who lives in London, opened an account with the Bank of Alameda after signing up to perform with the San Fransisco Opera.
Su - who has worked at the institution since 2007 - is alleged to have made six transfers out of Te Kanawa's account using cashier's cheques.
She was arrested on Tuesday (21Apr09) and has been remanded in custody.
Greg Ella, spokesman for the Alameda police, says, "She confessed to what she had done and she stated that she had acted alone. She had purchased a house in San Leandro, she has a child and she owed some family members money."
Another police representative adds, "She knew (Te Kanawa) was an opera singer, and she knew she had a very large retirement account. She selected her as a victim for those reasons."
Officials at the Bank of Alameda have reimbursed the star with the lost money.