A former Lebanon County business leader will serve 10 months to 23 months at the Lebanon County Correctional Facility as part of a guilty plea over embezzlement charges.
Kelly M. Whitman-Bower, a 40 year old Fredericksburg woman, was sentenced this week by Lebanon County Judge John Tylwalk in a negotiated guilty plea. In addition to the time at LCCF, Whitman-Bower will also receive an additional ten years of probation supervised by the Lebanon County Adult Probation Department.
Whitman-Bower faced five felony charges and one misdemeanor for embezzling funds between January 2017 and January 2019 from the Lebanon County Association of Realtors, by which Whitman-Bower was employed as its executive officer.
According to a release by the office of Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf, Whitman-Bower had embezzled funds by overpaying herself $69,625 in wages, issuing $101,162 in unauthorized checks to herself, and issuing $1,250 in unauthorized checks to family members. The release notes that Whitman-Bower had also purchased vacations, wedding expenses, hairdressings, and other sundry items using the association’s credit card. Whitman-Bower was said to have made false entries in the association’s record-keeping system to conceal her conduct.
In total Whitman-Bower had been accused of stealing $255,851.41. As part of the negotiated plea, Whitman-Bower was ordered to make restitution to the association and insurer Donegal Insurance Group.
According to the statement, “District Attorney Pier Hess Graf felt this was an acceptable sentence in light of the fact there would be little to no restitution made to the non-profit organization had Whitman-Bower been sentenced to a State Correctional Facility.”
“While under the supervision of Adult Probation, Whitman-Bower will be required to maintain full-time employment, paying towards her restitution each month. Also, as a condition of her sentence, Whitman-Bower is not allowed to hold a position of financial trust or responsibility during the term of her probation.”
DA Hess Graf encouraged nonprofit groups to review internal controls with regard to accounting practices and involving people other than the check writers when reviewing bank statements monthly.