Former Ala. bookkeeper sentenced in theft scheme


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A former Bessemer Housing Authority bookkeeper has been sentenced to prison on charges of theft of government property and aggravated identity theft.

Officials in the U.S. Attorney's office say 50-year-old Lawana Lawrence, of Jasper, wrote 28 checks to herself and used the electronic signature of the agency's executive director and board chairman to authorize the checks.

U.S. Attorney's officials say checks Lawrence deposited to herself between July and September of 2010 added up to $198, 700, which she is ordered to repay to the government as proceeds of illegal activity and in restitution.

Lawrence pleaded guilty to the charges in August. She is sentenced to two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, six months in prison for theft of government property, and six months of home monitoring.

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