Embezzler Gets 3 Years Added To Sentence

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An Eden woman imprisoned since 2009 on fraud charges has been sentenced to at least three more years for contempt of court.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that 46-year-old Deborah Whitney had pleaded guilty to the charges in December.

They say that, while serving as a bookkeeper, Whitney stole more than $650,000 from multiple businesses and people through embezzlements and fraud from 1995 to 2007.

Prosecutors say after she was sentenced, she continued to embezzle, defrauding the owners of Arthur’s Department Store in Morrisville of more than $100,000, before she started serving her 41-month sentence.

In the sentencing Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions expressed dismay at Whitney’s "flagrant" contempt of court. And he noted that the closure of Arthur’s Department Store, caused in part by Whitney’s fraud, had an impact beyond the owners, including lost jobs and a now-vacant storefront in downtown Morrisville.

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