MIDDLETON WOMAN ORDERED TO PAY $233,024 FOR DEFRAUDING PORT OF HOPE
Bobbi A. George, 31, of Middleton, Idaho, was sentenced today for wire fraud as a result of her and her mother's involvement in the misappropriation of $177,000 from the Port of Hope facility in Nampa, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced George to five years probation and ordered her to pay $233,024 in restitution. She will be required to serve six consecutive weekends in jail, eight months of home detention, and perform 100 hours of community service. George pleaded guilty to the charge in October 2010.
George's mother, Connie Stills, 55, also of Middleton, admitted her role in the scheme and pleaded guilty in September 2010 to mail fraud by embezzling from Port of Hope approximately $1.3 million and filing false tax returns. Stills will be sentenced on June 13 in Boise. The charge of mail fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years, supervised release of up to three years, and a fine of up to $250,000.
According to court documents, from 2004 to 2008, George was employed in the office at Port of Hope Centers, Inc., a non-profit entity that operates drug and alcohol treatment centers throughout Idaho. Stills was employed from 1991 to 2008 as a bookkeeper at Port of Hope Centers, Inc. The investigation found that between 2004 and 2008, Stills made unauthorized payments of approximately $67,853 from a Port of Hope account to George's personal credit card. Stills also made direct electronic fund transfers of approximately $98,478 from a Port of Hope account to George's personal bank account. George further embezzled approximately $20,268 by incurring personal expenses on a Port of Hope credit card account and using the entity's funds to pay for those personal charges.
“Stealing money from those in the community in need will not be tolerated,” said Sean Sowards, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Those who engage in this type of fraud should know the IRS is watching, and we will work diligently with our law enforcement partners to ensure they are held accountable.”
“Embezzlement is a serious crime in which an employee uses their position of trust to steal from their employer,” said James S. McTighe, FBI Special Agent in Charge. “In this case, Ms. George not only broke the trust placed in her by Port of Hope Center, she also stole funds intended to treat those suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. The FBI is pleased to have collaborated with the IRS-CID and the Nampa Police Department to secure a conviction in this case.”
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Nampa Police Department.
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