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'Serial embezzler' to spend 21 months in prison

By Kaitlin Loukides
Published On: Jun 18 2013 01:43:18 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 18 2013 06:31:59 PM CDT

POCATELLO, Idaho -

A former Aid for Friends employee was sentenced to spend 21 months in prison Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill sentenced Leslie Briggs, 36, of Chubbuck to not only spend time in prison, but to also pay back the full amount of money she stole followed by years of probation along with mental health evaluations and treatment.

On March 29, Briggs pleaded guilty to theft of government property after admitting she wrote checks from the Aid for Friends trust fund account for her own personal expenses from November 2008 until December 2010.

Her total amount adds up to $103,612, which she will be paying back to Aid for Friends after her release. Previous reports state the amount to be $103,511, however, on Tuesday the court noted the typo in the docket. 

However, this is not the first time Briggs has come before the court due to such offenses.

In 2000, the defendant embezzled money from a hotel she was employed at, and again in 2006 she was charged with stealing from Ridley's under her employment with the grocery store chain.

Winmill referred to her as a "serial embezzler" as the sentencing was coming down.

"I don't think I have ever had a defendant come before me with the background of the same offenses you have," Winmill said. "This shows a lack of respect you have for the privilege you were given for the right to work...and you are now a serious threat to any company you intend to work for in the future."

Briggs gave a tearful testimony to her troubled past.

"I just want to say in my own words that I would like to confirm that I have had a hard life," Briggs said. "These past seven years have been very hard ... and I'm now on the path to rectifying that. ... I'm getting better and working toward it. It's been a very hard road."

The words, "I'm sorry," were not present.

Briggs has three minor children ages 17, 15, and 11.

The court is suggesting she serve time at a facility in Dublin, Calif., but the ultimate decision is up to the Bureau of Prisons.

A representative from the U.S. Probation Office will let her know the date her sentence will start as soon as that is decided.

A second hearing will be coming up for another unnamed individual who acted in coordination with Briggs during the embezzlement. Although the two acted together during the same incident, only one person at a time can be tried.

Follow Kaitlin on Twitter: @KaitlinLoukides

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