Woman gets 6 years behind bars for stealing from Mesa business

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The following press release was sent by the Maricopa CountyAttorney's Office:

GILBERT - Gilbert resident Deborah Lynn Ward, 47 (DOB 12/2/60), has been sentenced to six years in prison and four years of supervised probation for the theft of over $700,000 from a Mesa business. The defendant pled guilty on April 29, 2008 to Theft, a class three felony and Forgery, a class four felony. She was sentenced on July 31, 2008, in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Michael Kemp.

The defendant was the controller for Superstition Crushing, LLC, a family-owned company. From January 1, 2005 to July 1, 2006, Ward wrote scores of checks to herself. She covered these thefts by moving money from the tax-withholding bank accounts to the company operating account. This left the company vulnerable to IRS penalties for failure to pay withholding taxes.

"White-collar crime of this type deserves hard time in prison," said County Attorney Andrew Thomas.