Accountant gets 11 years in AZ fraud case - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Accountant gets 11 years in AZ fraud case

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Accountant Michelle Hice was sentenced to 11 years in prison. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Accountant Michelle Hice was sentenced to 11 years in prison. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

An accountant accused of stealing $145,000 from a Buckeye veterinarian clinic and a Goodyear church was sentenced to 11 years in prison Thursday.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Gottsfield also sentenced Michelle Hice to three years of probation as part of a plea agreement.

Hice, 39, pleaded guilty to fraudulent schemes and artifices and misconduct involving weapons in April.

Sheriff's officials said Hice was running the vet clinic's daily accounting, payroll, and bills for a year through a third party accounting firm.

In October 2012, the clinic was contacted by the IRS for nonpayment of taxes and discovered Hice had written more than $130,000 in unauthorized checks to herself.

Sheriff's detectives said Hice also did the church's accounting until she was fired in October 2012.

Authorities determined Hice had written about $15,000 in checks to herself and deposited them in her bank account.

During her arrest in February, sheriff's detectives found two stolen credit cards and a .45-caliber handgun.

Hice was on probation for similar offenses in 2006.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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