Allan Thomas attended an Aug. 27 Drainage District 5 meeting with its three new commissioners in order to help them figure out how to set their yearly budget and provide them other information. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Allan Thomas attended an Aug. 27 Drainage District 5 meeting with its three new commissioners in order to help them figure out how to set their yearly budget and provide them other information. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Former Drainage District 5 commissioner, wife charged with fraud

Allan and Joann Thomas allegedly stole more than $460,000 from Enumclaw taxpayers by setting up sham companies.

Enumclaw locals Allan and Joann Thomas have officially been charged with mail fraud, having allegedly stolen hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

The Sept. 30 announcement came via a Department of Justice press release, five months after it was first reported the Thomases were under investigation; the complaint has been filed with the U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Until recently, Allan Thomas was a commissioner for Drainage District 5, a special purpose tax district charged with maintaining approximately 18 miles of drainage ditches in east Enumclaw.

What was unusual about Thomas’ position, however, was he was a commissioner for more than 35 years, having allegedly skirted Washington state elections laws to keep his position.

However, this complaint is focusing on his and his wife’s purported mail fraud, and the FBI — which took over King County’s investigation around July — alleges the Thomases set up a phony company to steal roughly $468,000 from around 600 Enumclaw residents that reside within Drainage District 5’s boundaries.

The scheme allegedly began in 2012, when the Thomases set up a business bank account for a company called AC Services, which was supposedly doing ditch maintenance through 2017.

However, AC Services was a company set up by Allan Thomas’ son, Alexander, at the Thomas’ urging. Alexander is not being charged with a crime, and does not appear to be under investigation, but he did tell investigators he only worked two jobs clearing ditches in 2012, and didn’t do any work after.

In order to receive taxpayer money for its supposed work, AC Services would “send” a bill to Drainage District 5, which would then forward it to King County. The county would then issue the requested funds back to Drainage District 5, and the money would be deposited into AC Services’ bank account.

The money wouldn’t stay in the account for long, though; Joann, as an authorized signer of the bank account, would then withdraw the money from AC Services’ account to be used for the Thomas’ personal gain, the FBI alleges, including the operation of their dairy farm, Thomas Dairy, on state Route 410.

But once the city of Enumclaw began to take notice that no work was being done on these drainage ditches, a police investigation was opened in 2018.

Aware they were being investigated, the Thomases then allegedly created a second fraudulent business under the name City Biz and sent two more “bills” for City Biz’s work on drainage ditches to the county. Again, when the county sent money to Drainage District 5 for those bills to be paid, the money went to the Thomases, the FBI alleges.

The Thomases have denied stealing from taxpayers, and told the investigators that the money withdrawn from AC Services’ bank account were reimbursements, as the Thomases rented their son the equipment he supposedly used to maintain drainage ditches, or to help their son pay some miscellaneous bills; the Thomases claim they have paperwork that support their account.

However, the financial records appear to show the money was actually used to pay for hay for the farm, property taxes, and mortgage payments.

Mail fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Allan and Joann Thomas Complaint by Ray Still on Scribd

More in News

All invited to attend kick-off conversation about affordable housing

The Calvary Presbyterian church will be hosting a “community conversation” on affordable housing on Oct. 26.

City to keep some sales tax revenue, use money to help with affordable housing

A bill passed in last year’s legislative session allows cities to keep funds for affordable housing by seeking a credit against the state’s share of local sales taxes.

Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | Oct. 1 – 9

Hit and run at EHS, chronic 911 calls, and slashed tires.

Local gym hopes to make an imPACt

Visit the Plateau Athletic Club on Oct. 11 and 12 to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (and maybe even work out, too).

Manhunt for convicted sex offender ends with arrest in Enumclaw

Upon his release, Ronald Clayton cut off his GPS tracker and obtained enough meth for a felony charge.

Dane Scarimbolo and Dominique Torgerson run Four Horsemen Brewery in Kent. They were almost shut down in late 2017 by King County, which after years of letting them operate a brewery and taproom, decided they were in violation of county code. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Proposed winery ordinance irks King County farmers, neighbors and businesses

Concerns include more traffic, higher land prices, code enforcement and compliance.

Health Board passes emergency ban on flavored vapor products | Department of Health

The ban, which began Oct. 10, will be in effect for 120 days.

Culvert replacement planned for Battersby Avenue

Enumclaw received more than $300,000 from the King County Flood Control District for the project.

Lake Tapps users, residents can plan for lower levels | Cascade Water Alliance

Boats should be removed from the lake by mid-October.

Most Read