Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Woman Accused of Embezzlement Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to Mental Health Program

A woman accused of embezzling money from the U.S. School Service Employees Association of West Virginia admitted taking $13,000 from the union in court on Monday.

Debra Baker's attorney reached a plea agreement with the state, saying if she entered a guilty plea and completed 24 months of a mental health program, her case will be dismissed.

During the hearing, Prosecutor Joe Barki went over the details of what Baker did while serving as secretary. "She began to abuse that position and write herself additional monthly stipend checks beyond what she was supposed to receive every month," he said.

If Baker does not successfully complete her time in the mental court program, her guilty plea to embezzlement will be accepted. Baker would then be sentenced to no less than one year and no more than 10 years in the state penitentiary.

Baker was also ordered to pay back all of the $13,000 she took, which Barki said she has already done.

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