By MELINDA WILLIAMS
A Narrows woman is to report to New River Valley Regional Jail today to begin serving a two-year sentence for embezzling over $100,000 from a Pulaski County pharmaceutical company.
Stephanie Michelle Burton, 44, was an employee of Lunsco Inc. when she wrote several checks to herself totaling $109,383 “as best we can tell,” Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor told Circuit Court Judge Marcus Long Jr. Friday. The thefts occurred between the fall of 2007 and late 2011.
When company officials discovered discrepancies, Fleenor said, Burton admitted to her supervisor that she had taken the money. He described the company, which voluntarily filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in February 2012, as a “small, family-owned medical supply company.”
In her statement to police, Burton indicated she was sorry and ashamed, her defense attorney said. He noted she was under extreme financial stress at the time.
Burton pleaded guilty to five counts of embezzlement and two other embezzlement charges were nolle prosequi (not prosecuted with the option to re-file).
Under the plea agreement, Judge Long sentenced Burton to three years on each of the five counts for a total of 15 years. He suspended all but two years, two months of the sentence under the condition she makes restitution. She will be placed on indefinite supervised probation upon release from custody.
The judge agreed to allow Burton to report to jail today rather than be taken into custody following the court hearing.