SC woman gets 2 1/2 years for tourism group theft - FOX Carolina 21

SC woman gets 2 1/2 years for tourism group theft

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

A woman who pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $400,000 from the South Carolina Hospitality Association has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

A federal judge also ordered Rachel Duncan on Tuesday to pay back the $367,000 she stole from the group.

Duncan pleaded guilty earlier this year to tax evasion and wire fraud. Her attorney says Duncan stole to support a decades-long gambling addiction, and she apologized in court.

The investigation into the association's missing money came to light in February when its founder and executive director went missing.

Tom Sponseller was found 10 days later. He had committed suicide, leaving behind a three-page note describing Duncan's confession to stealing the money and how despondent he was over her betrayal.

Duncan didn't mention Sponseller during her apology.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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