Woman gets probation for theft from sportsman’s club

Published 10:16 am Friday, March 17, 2017

A Texas woman who pleaded guilty in January to stealing thousands of dollars from 2010 to 2014 from Fountain Lake Sportsman’s Club was placed on probation for up to 20 years on Thursday in Freeborn County District Court.

Kelly Walton, 40, of Lavon, Texas, was sentenced after pleading guilty to felony theft.

Walton received a statutory stay of adjudication, meaning if she completes probation, she will never be formally convicted. Walton did not receive any executed jail time.

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Prior to sentencing, Walton’s lawyer, Patrick James Arendt, said she has a clean record and has taken responsibility for the incident. Walton pleaded guilty on her first appearance and  paid more than $46,000 in restitution via a cashier’s check, Arendt said.

Though Assistant Freeborn County Attorney Corey Rothrock requested the court impose a $1,000 fine, District Court Judge Steven Schwab did not issue the fine because a conviction was not issued.

Walton was ordered to pay $75 in court fees.

Walton, who lived in Albert Lea at the time the complaint was filed last year, reportedly kept the books for the organization. She had exclusive control of the organization’s checkbook and an ATM card drawn on the same account.

Walton was charged after a financial audit of the organization from February 2010 to October 2014 reportedly found $1,435 in overdraft fees, between $300 and $400 in ATM fees and a total loss of about $46,000. Court documents state that in 2013, the organization suffered a loss of about $11,000.

Walton admitted to taking possession of the club’s funds without permission and intending to exercise temporary control over the funds.

After sentencing, the Sportsman’s Club’s treasurer, Larry Anderson, said Schwab made his ruling appropriately.

Anderson noted Walton had paid restitution, and he said it was important that she was placed on probation.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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