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Monday, May 27, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Embezzlement Ring Rolled Up

DALLAS (CN) - A married couple pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to embezzle $2 million from a Dallas suburb. Five of seven defendants have now pleaded guilty or been convicted.

Duane Milford Stailey, 44, and, Sharon Ware Stailey, 45, both of Leonard, Texas, each face up to 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution.

The pleas follow the October conviction of Jerry Don Diviney, 69, of Durant, Okla., on the same charge.

Patricia Leathers, 63, of Rowlett, a former risk management adjustor for the city of Garland, pleaded guilty to the same charge in December 2010 and is serving a 57-month sentence in federal prison.

Leathers's sister, Connie M. Powell, 60, of Garland, pleaded guilty in December 2010 for her role involving checks exceeding $64,000. She was sentenced to 3 years of probation.

The remaining two defendants, Kenneth Wayne Brown, 50, and his wife, Leah Michele Brown, 46, both of Denison, are set for trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater on Jan. 30, 2012.

Prosecutors say Leathers obtained checks issued by the city of Garland by submitting false claims for reimbursement for damage to vehicles, homes, and landscaping supposedly caused by city trucks or employees.

Diviney then provided Leathers with names and addresses to use for the false claims and deposited or cashed many of the checks, sharing the proceeds with Leathers.

The Staileys and the Browns then negotiated checks payable to themselves and others and returned the bulk of the cash to Diviney and Leathers. Prosecutors say $1,968,479 in total losses were inflicted.

The Staileys will be sentenced on March 2, 2010.

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