Embezzlement Ring Rolled Up

     DALLAS (CN) – A husband and wife were convicted of helping to embezzle $2 million from Garland, Texas.
     Kenneth Wayne Brown, 50, and Leah Michele Brown, 46, both of Westminster, were each convicted of conspiring to commit theft from a program receiving federal funds. They each face up to 5 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution.
     They will be sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater on May 18.
     Five other conspirators have been convicted.
     Duane Milford Stailey, 44, and his wife, Sharon Ware Stailey, 46, both of Leonard, pleaded guilty in December 2011 to the same conspiracy charge and will be sentenced on March 2, federal prosecutors said.
     Jerry Don Diviney, 69, of Durant, Okla., pleaded guilty in October 2011 and will be sentenced on March 9.
     Patricia Leathers, 63, of Rowlett, a former risk management adjustor for Garland, pleaded guilty in December 2010 and is serving a 57-month sentence. Her sister, Connie M. Powell, 60, of Garland, pleaded guilty to her role involving checks exceeding $64,000, and received 3 years of probation.
     Prosecutors say Leathers obtained checks issued by the city by submitting false claims for reimbursement for damage to vehicles, homes and landscaping, allegedly caused by city trucks or employees.
     Diviney provided Leathers with names and addresses to use for the false claims and deposited or cashed many of the checks, then shared the loot with Leathers.
     The Browns and the Staileys negotiated checks payable to themselves and others and returned most of the cash to Diviney and Leathers.
     The total loss to the city was $1,968,479.

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