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Press Release

Former Fontana City Treasurer Sentenced for Embezzlement

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Kansas

WICHITA, KAN. – A former treasurer for the city of Fontana in Miami County, Kan., was sentenced Monday to 12 months and a day in prison for embezzlement, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Deborah Sell, 56, Fontana, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. In her plea, she admitted she used her position as treasurer to steal money from the city. She issued city checks to pay her personal expenses, withdrew cash using a city debit card for personal expenses, and deposited cash payments received from customers into her personal account.

At a sentencing hearing today, prosecutors told the court Sell embezzled a total of more than $174,000 from the city, including a debit card withdrawal of $414 at an ATM in a casino in Riverside, Mo.

She admitted her 2016 tax return failed to include more than $94,000 in income she embezzled that year.

McAllister commended the U.S. Secret Service, IRS-Criminal Investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.

Updated September 16, 2019

Financial Fraud