Ex-Great Sand Dunes Worker Gets Prison For Theft

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A former Great Sand Dunes National Park employee who stole more than $730,000 from the park over a span of four years has been sentenced to two years in prison.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports 49-year-old Lydia L. White pleaded guilty in May to theft of government property and money laundering. White, who was sentenced Friday, acknowledged that she falsely wrote 870 National Park Service checks totaling $731,009 to her husband and covered up her embezzlement, which began in March 2007 and ended in December 2010.

Her attorney, Virginia Grady, told U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn her client's conduct stemmed from severe financial problems.

The national park system has since eliminated the use of government checks.

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