Bookkeeper accepts plea deal in theft

Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007

KENAI - A bookkeeper accused of embezzling more than $150,000 has agreed to a plea deal, ending a trial 10 minutes after its start.

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Sheryl Dilley, 37, of Kenai pleaded guilty to four felony counts and prosecutors dropped more than 100 forgery charges.

Dilley pleaded guilty to first-degree theft, scheme to defraud charges, tampering with physical evidence and falsifying business records.

She faces between 12 years to 30 years when she is sentenced Oct. 9. Superior Court Judge Peter Ashman ordered Dilley to begin serving jail time Friday, even before being formally sentenced.

Ashman also scheduled a restitution hearing Aug. 10.

In exchange for her guilty pleas, the state dropped more than 100 charges of second-degree check forgery.

Dilley was arrested by Kenai Police on March 26 after an investigation revealed she had stolen $154,206 from three Kenai firms for which she kept books: Salamatof Seafoods, M & P Trucking and BAS Leasing.

She was accused of forging more than 100 company checks between January 2002 and March 2007.

On Monday, Dilley, her attorney, John Pharr of Anchorage, and Kenai District Attorney June Stein showed up in Kenai court ready to begin jury selection.

About 10 minutes into the proceeding, however, Pharr told the court his client was ready to resolve the matter by plea bargain.

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