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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Platte County employee stole tax money to go gambling


From Platte County prosecutor: A former employee of the Platte County Collector’s office will be required to repay more than $55,000 in stolen tax payments and spend 90 days in the Platte County jail after pleading guilty to felony stealing and tampering with a public record. Barbara K. Milton, 30, of Parkville, received the sentence April 30, when prosecutors sought the maximum amount of shock jail time allowed and five years of probation.

... Milton admitted to stealing cash payments made at the Platte County Collector’s South Annex beginning in May or June of 2008. She also confessed to altering computer records involving cash payments, in order to conceal her theft. Milton used the money to gamble at Kansas City area casinos.

Court documents originally estimated that Milton stole approximately $16,000. Zahnd said an exhaustive investigation by Platte County Sheriff’s Deputies revealed that Milton had taken more than $55,000.

Zahnd said, “Even though all of the funds stolen by Ms. Milton will be repaid, we asked that she serve the maximum amount of shock jail time permitted for her crime. Due to the gravity of the crime and the important position of trust she once held, justice requires that she serve considerable jail time as part of repaying our citizens.”

Under Missouri law, defendants sentenced to prison for stealing cannot be required to repay what they stole. Zahnd said he believed it was important that the defendant repay the money she stole, so he opted for jail time and restitution.

Zahnd’s office sought the 120-day statutory maximum shock time allowed; the court sentenced Milton to 90 days in jail. Milton paid $19,000 at the time of her guilty plea. She will pay $600 per month in restitution during her five-year probation period. She also agreed not to enter any place where gambling occurs.

If Milton violates the terms of her probation, she could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.


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