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Wednesday, July 24, 2024


June 29, 2001 – A former employee in the Tourism Department's Chicago office was sentenced Friday to three months in prison followed by two years on probation for using government funds for personal expenditures.
Susan Riddle pleaded guilty in May to six counts of fraud. In the plea bargain, she admitted having diverted $1,893 in government funds over the course of four years as manager of the Chicago office.
A government audit determined that Riddle had more than $11,000 questionable expenditures, including first-class airline tickets for family members, car rentals, meals and home telephone bills. Most of the money allegedly came from funds accessed from a government account by automated teller machine.
Riddle also must pay $1,275 in fines and court costs and make restitution to the government of $1,893. The prosecution asked for more than $10,000 in restitution, but Holler ruled that Riddle could only be forced to repay the amount she pleaded guilty to having taken in a plea bargain.
At Riddle's request, Hollar gave her until Monday to begin serving her sentence. Riddle asked to have the weekend to make arrangements for the care of her three children.
The sentencing cames just a day after a former employee of the Virgin Islands Lottery pleaded guilty to embezzling $11,930 in lottery funds.
In sentencing Riddle, Territorial Court Judge Brenda Hollar noted that she was aware of at least five cases in the last year of government officials facing public corruption charges. "The court can not trivialize those cases," she said.

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