FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A former accounting specialist for Benton County who embezzled more than $1 million in public funds has appealed her prison sentence, according to federal court documents.
Connie Guild, 52, has asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review U.S. Judge Tim Brooks’ ruling that she spend roughly 3 years in federal prison and pay back the $1,033,762.20 she stole from the county.
In 2007, Guild was put in charge of the county’s travel fund. Over the next decade, she began submitting false claims for the fund to the county treasurer, who would then write Guild a check to cover the inflated expenses, according to court documents.
Guild then cashed the checks and deposited the excess funds into her personal bank account.
Guild, who was fired last fall, pleaded guilty in April to on one count of theft concerning programs that receive funds and one count of filing a false income tax return, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
“Public officials, whether elected or appointed, hold positions of trust in the eyes of the public. That trust is broken when these officials commit crimes,” said Tracey D. Montaño, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation.
“Ms. Guild was entrusted by the people of Benton County to ethically and responsibly manage taxpayer funds, but instead decided to use those funds for her personal benefit.”
Neither the U.S. attorney’s office or Jack Schisler, Guild’s attorney from the Arkansas federal public defender’s office, immediately respond to messages left Friday (Oct. 20).