A Cleveland woman was sentenced on Dec. 16 for the embezzlement of approximately $21,000 in funds from the Castle Valley Special Service District. She was charged originally with one count of misuse of public money which is a second degree felony. She pled guilty to a class A misdemeanor in November. This money was taken over a three year period between 2000 and 2003. The charges could carry a maximum of one year in the county jail and a fine of up to $2,500 plus restitution.
In the proceedings, Judge Bruce K. Halliday sentenced the woman to 18 months of probation and 10 days of jail time which can be served in increments and not consecutively with 20 days of home confinement to start immediately. She will also need to write a letter of apology. The judge also waived the fine in the case which could have been $2,500. She will be able to go to work and then report to jail to serve her jail time. The situation will be monitored by the adult probation and parole. The woman paid the restitution on the amount she embezzled at the time she entered the plea in November.
A former Emery County resident and former school teacher is being charged with insurance fraud which is a second degree felony, theft by deception which is a second degree felony, communications fraud which is a second degree felony and forgery which is a third degree felony. Between the years 1999-2003 the defendant had $10,000 in insurance premiums paid in his behalf and over $50,000 in benefits paid in claims on his behalf. The defendant allegedly falsified a birth certificate listing his birthdate as 10 years later than it was in order to qualify for benefits which should have ended at age 65. The communications fraud was a result of communications between the defendant and the school district regarding his age. This defendant made his first appearance on Oct. 21 and he has waived a preliminary hearing and entered a not guilty plea and the case was continued to Dec. 16 where a trial setting occurred. This case has been set for trial on April 21-22, 2004. The second degree felony charges could carry a 1-15 maximum sentence in the state prison and restitution. The third degree felony carries a 0-5 sentence and a $5,000 fine plus restitution.
Social Security Fraud
Another case currently being worked on by Brent Langston, deputy county attorney, is the case where a woman was caring for her elderly mother. The mother passed away and she had two social security numbers in her name. A death certificate was filed on the social security number that wasn't receiving benefits and the daughter continued to receive benefits using the other social security number. This went on for over a year and the social security administration called the woman and asked her to bring her mother in; the woman said her mother was in Colorado and she couldn't bring her in, but she sent in the mother's drivers license. The social security administration obtained a copy of the death certificate and went to visit the woman. The woman said the lady that died had been her aunt. This woman also had a prior situation where she continued to collect money for a deceased daughter. New theft charges have been filed and the woman has pled not guilty and a disposition is scheduled for Feb. 18, 2004 at 9 a.m. in this matter.