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Archive for Embezzlement

Former Harrah’s Employee Convicted of Embezzlement

Keith Alan Franklin, 27, of Waynesville was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $400,000 from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino while he was an employee. He must also pay $475,000 in restitution to the casino.

In a sentencing hearing Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Asheville, Franklin was sentenced to 27 months in prison. Franklin pleaded guilty to theft by an employee of gaming establishments on Indian lands.

Franklin was ordered to serve three years of supervised release after he leaves prison.

According to court records, Franklin embezzled money from Harrah’s from October 2013 to April 2014. Franklin was employed at Harrah’s and had direct access to the casino’s funds during this period, according to court documents.

Franklin was fired in April 2014 and pleaded guilty in October 2014 to the embezzlement charge.

Franklin is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

The U.S. Secret service handled the investigation, assisted by the Cherokee police.

School Librarian Suspended Pending Embezzlement Investigation

A Jackson County School System employee has been suspended without pay after being accused of stealing from school funds. Authorities say Patricia Dunford, 45, a librarian at Cullowhee Valley School, has been charged with Larceny by Employee for embezzling money from the school system from August of 2012 to May of 2013. Dunford will remain suspended pending the outcome of the investigation and is scheduled to appear in court to face these charges on September 24th.

Sylva Woman, Robyn Crawford Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

Today in Jackson County Superior Court Robyn Dillard Crawford, age 51, from Sylva pleaded guilty to six felonies for the embezzlement of $150,000 from the WNC Eye Care between March of 2005 and March of 2010. Crawford was the office manager at WNC Eye Care, working there for nearly eleven years. Crawford reportedly used credit cards issued by the company for things like; personal hotel stays, out-of-state travel, and even groceries. Robyn Crawford’s sentence of more than 3 years has been suspended due to the plea agreement and on the condition she pay $50,000 in restitution to Dr. Richard Beauchemin, the former owner of WNC Eye Care, and also pay a fine and court costs totaling $2650. Crawford’s attorney, Frank Lay, asked the court to forgo the court costs and probation supervision fee’s but was denied. If restitution is not made, a probation violation report will be issued, and her sentence could possibly be activated regardless of the plea deal.