DA: Money embezzled by East Texas woman repaid to Longview ISD E - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

DA: Money embezzled by East Texas woman repaid to Longview ISD Education Foundation

Patricia Benton Hesler mugshot. (Source: Gregg Co. Sheriff) Patricia Benton Hesler mugshot. (Source: Gregg Co. Sheriff)
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Henderson woman is in jail after embezzling more than $200,000 from the Longview ISD Education Foundation during a four-year period.

Under terms of a plea deal reached in March, Patricia Benton Hesler, 61, is serving one year in state jail after pleading guilty to forgery and theft. She began serving her sentence on April 1.

Judge Alfonso Charles also ordered Hesler to pay $70,373.35 in restitution to the Longview ISD foundation, about $130,000 less than the amount Hesler pled guilty to stealing, according to court documents. All parties reportedly agreed to that amount.

The Longview ISD Education Foundation is a non-profit organization created in 1994 to fund grants for teachers, counselors, librarians and nurses within that district. In 2012, the foundation reported to the IRS a total revenue of $60,540, with $76,060 paid out in grants.

In a statement released this morning by the Gregg County District Attorneys Office, Stacey Brownlee said, “over $250,000 was recovered and repaid to the LISD Foundation prior to the plea, an additional $10,000 was paid the day of the plea, with the remainder (the only amount reported in KLTV’s story) to be repaid as a condition of probation once she (Patricia Hesler) is released from prison.”

The theft began in Aug. 28, 2008 and continued for more than four years, according to the indictment. Records also show Hesler was employed as an administrative assistant at the accounting firm of Frank Taggart & Co. in Longview at that time. That firm handles financial matters for the foundation, according to income tax filings.

The forgery indictment states that Hesler made it appear as if her supervisor at the accounting firm, Diane Gibson, wrote at least one check on the account of the Longview ISD Education Foundation. Gibson signed the foundation’s tax returns as the preparer.

The indictment for theft states more than $200,000 was unlawfully acquired from K. Ray, the executive director of the Longview ISD Education Foundation.

Hesler was arrested in April 2013 by deputies with the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office, according to arrest reports.

In an employment biography posted online, Hesler said she “is passionate about charitable organizations such as Longview Independent School District and GoodWill Industries.”

Hesler was also sentenced to 10 years probation and 480 hours of community service.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.



  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Woman Killed, grandmother injured in Lake Charles house fire

    Woman Killed, grandmother injured in Lake Charles house fire

    Monday, May 22 2017 11:37 PM EDT2017-05-23 03:37:03 GMT
    "I don't know how to describe it. I'm in awe." Family members identify the victim as 29 year old Kelli Bonnette. Her uncle, John Manning, says it also injured his 77 year old Mother in-law.  Four adults and three children were rescued from the fire. Nita Duplantis remains in the hospital fighting for her life according to family. Bonnette was the mother of 8 year old Easton who expressed how he felt after finding out the death of his mother. "Sad, that's all,&q...More >>
    "I don't know how to describe it. I'm in awe." Family members identify the victim as 29 year old Kelli Bonnette. Her uncle, John Manning, says it also injured his 77 year old Mother in-law.  Four adults and three children were rescued from the fire. Nita Duplantis remains in the hospital fighting for her life according to family. Bonnette was the mother of 8 year old Easton who expressed how he felt after finding out the death of his mother. "Sad, that's all,&q...More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Bulk of the rain has moved out of our area, a few showers possible at times overnight

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Bulk of the rain has moved out of our area, a few showers possible at times overnight

    Monday, May 22 2017 10:52 PM EDT2017-05-23 02:52:44 GMT
    Scattered showers and storms again TuesdayScattered showers and storms again Tuesday

    The heaviest rain has moved out of Southwest Louisiana, except for a line of storms over eastern Cameron Parish.  All of this should be gone before 10 p.m.  A few showers cannot be ruled out for the remainder of the night, but nothing that should cause any issues with flooding or severe weather.  

    More >>

    The heaviest rain has moved out of Southwest Louisiana, except for a line of storms over eastern Cameron Parish.  All of this should be gone before 10 p.m.  A few showers cannot be ruled out for the remainder of the night, but nothing that should cause any issues with flooding or severe weather.  

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Coast Guard: Uninspected vessel takes on water, runs aground in Calcasieu Ship Channel

    Coast Guard: Uninspected vessel takes on water, runs aground in Calcasieu Ship Channel

    Monday, May 22 2017 7:42 PM EDT2017-05-22 23:42:39 GMT
    (Source: Coast Guard)(Source: Coast Guard)
    A towing vessel that was uninspected began taking on water, then ran aground in the Calcasieu Ship Channel early Monday morning, officials with the Coast Guard said. The three-man crew of the 60-foot towing vessel, the Mr. Landon, "purposefully ran their vessel aground near Monkey Island to avoid sinking when they realized they were taking on water in the stern," according to a news release from the Coast Guard 8th District Public Affairs Detachment Texas. Approximate...More >>
    A towing vessel that was uninspected began taking on water, then ran aground in the Calcasieu Ship Channel early Monday morning, officials with the Coast Guard said. The three-man crew of the 60-foot towing vessel, the Mr. Landon, "purposefully ran their vessel aground near Monkey Island to avoid sinking when they realized they were taking on water in the stern," according to a news release from the Coast Guard 8th District Public Affairs Detachment Texas. Approximate...More >>
Powered by Frankly