Donna Duffer sentenced
WEST PALM BEACH - Donna M. Duffer was sentenced to 10 years in prison today, after admitting she stole almost $1.6 million from the county's Convention and Visitors Bureau.I have never understood how someone can pay restitution while imprisoned. Someone enlighten me if you can.
Duffer, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft over $100,000 and one count of money laundering over $100,000. Working as the bureau's controller, Duffer forged 225 checks over three years to help pay for her online gambling addiction.
She also was ordered to make restitution for the total amount of the theft, and was immediately imprisoned.
Most of the money Duffer stole should have been paid to the IRS. As of September 1, the bureau will owe about $1.2 million in back taxes and penalties to the IRS.Ten years, when faced with up to sixty years in prison, seems sufficient sentence to me when it comes to embezzling taxpayer money. Even a gambling addict has to face pay back one day.
Duffer's attorney, B. Sue Foreman, called witnesses to show that Duffer has an illness called pathological gambling. Witnesses who have met Duffer and helped her during her Gamblers Anonymous classes say she has accepted responsibility and seems committed to getting better.
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