Monday, May 07, 2012
Government wants Peggy Newton to spend six years in prison
Documents filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri indicate that the new U. S. attorney in the case, Steven Molhenrich, says he will ask for a sentence longer than the one recommended in the probation officer in the pre-sentencing report.
That report suggested Mrs. Newton should spend 46 to 57 months in prison. That's not enough, Molhenrich says. "After reviewing all of the evidence, the government believes that the defendant should receive an additional two-level enhancement for obstruction of justice." Molhenrich recommends 57-71 months in prison.
The sentencing hearing promises to be different than the usual, according to court documents. The government anticipates putting on at least two hours of evidence, showing that Mrs. Newton embezzled more than $300,000 from her company and co-owner Diane Pine. Mrs. Newton's lawyers say the amount is only about $30,000.
Molhenrich took over the case last week after the U. S. attorney had been handling it resigned.
The following description of Mrs. Newton's crime comes from the Feb. 13 Turner Report:
The following description of Ms. Newton's crime was included in court documents:
The defendant, PEGGY S. NEWTON (hereinafter NEWTON), and Diane
Pine (Pine) were partners in Evergreen & Amber, L.L.C., an interior decorating business and retail shop dealing in the procurement and sale of dry goods, floral,furniture, household and kindred furnishings. Evergreen & Amber, L.L.C. was a Limited Liability Company organized in the State of Missouri, located in Joplin, Missouri. NEWTON and Pine were the only members of the organization.
The business was funded primarily through the use of Pine’s credit accounts and lines of credit opened by Pine in the name of Evergreen & Amber, L.L.C. Pine was the sole guarantor on each of these accounts. The business’s operational accounts were held at U.S. Bank and United Missouri Bank, both located in Joplin,Missouri. Both operational accounts were held in the name of Evergreen & Amber,
L.L.C. Both NEWTON and Pine had signature authority over the credit accounts used to fund the business, and the operational accounts at U.S. Bank and United Missouri Bank. NEWTON was authorized to write checks, incur charges, and make expenditures on these accounts for expenses related to, and for the benefit of,Evergreen & Amber, L.L.C. NEWTON was not authorized to utilize the accounts for personal expenditures, or to make purchases, conduct withdrawals, or incur
charges for any reason not related to, or for the benefit of, Evergreen & Amber,L.L.C. NEWTON also did not have permission to apply for credit, or to open any new lines of credit in Pine’s name or in the name of Evergreen & Amber, L.L.C.,without Pine’s permission.
From on or about September 18, 2006, through on or about June 29, 2009, in Joplin, Jasper County, in the Western District of Missouri, and elsewhere, the defendant, PEGGY S. NEWTON, devised a scheme and artifice to defraud and to obtain money and other things from Pine and Evergreen & Amber, L.L.C., by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises. The scheme was as follows.
It was part of the scheme that NEWTON wrote checks drawn on the Evergreen & Amber, L.L.C., operational accounts at U.S. Bank and United Missouri
Bank to make purchases and obtain money for personal use, and to pay for items and services for her personal benefit.
It was also part of the scheme that NEWTON used Pine’s personal credit
accounts, and the credit accounts of Evergreen & Amber, L.L.C., to make purchases and obtain money for personal use, and to pay for services for her personal benefit.
Specifically, on or about June 6, 2008, NEWTON used Pine’s Chase Visa
card account number ending in 5506, to charge $1,926.70 for the purchase of family portraits from Lagow Portrait Designs, Inc., in Joplin, Missouri. NEWTON did so without Pine’s knowledge or permission. NEWTON’s use of Pine’s credit card to make this purchase caused to be electronically transmitted over telephone lines in interstate commerce by means of wire communication, funds in the amount of $1,926.70, from Pine’s Chase Visa account in Palatine, Illinois, to Lagow Portrait
Designs, Inc., in Joplin, Missouri.
For relevant conduct purposes, NEWTON stipulates and agrees that she made other unauthorized purchases and expenditures using Pine’s personal and business credit cards, and the Evergreen & Amber, LLC, business accounts at U.S. Bank and United Missouri Bank. NEWTON agrees she conducted these purchases,expenditures, and withdrawals for her own personal benefit, and without Pine’s knowledge or permission. The exact amount of unauthorized expenditures NEWTON made will be determined by the Court at sentencing.