Retired colonel sentenced for embezzling millions

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James Eugene Burnes By Jennifer Thomas James Eugene Burnes By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX (AP) -- A retired National Guard colonel has been sentenced to 3 1/2  years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud and theft charges after embezzling more than $2 million from a charitable fund.
 
Maricopa County Superior Court says 66-year-old James Eugene Burnes was also ordered Wednesday to serve a seven year probation term when he's released from state prison.
 
Burnes was the resource manager for the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. Prosecutors said that between 2007 and 2011 he diverted money from funds that were intended to provide emergency assistance to Arizona National Guard members and their families.
 
Prosecutors said Burnes took the money so he could gamble.