Seattle (July 24, 2003) -- A former accountant for an investment and management business owned primarily by billionaire Paul G. Allen, has been convicted of nearly $2 million in wire fraud.

Antonia Denise Hicks, 38, of Canton, Texas, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced on Oct. 10 for the fraud.

According to a prosecutors, Hicks arranged wire transfers of more than $1.98 million to a business she set up, instead of to Pacific Northwest Title Co., which regularly handles estate closings for Vulcan.

The jury found Hicks must pay back nearly $1 million, and relinquish a 51-acre property in Canton, a 2000 Dodge Ram truck, a 2000 Maxum pleasure boat and some expensive jewelry, which will be applied toward restitution to Vulcan.

-- WebCPA staff

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