Court Report

WHITLEY COUNTY -- A woman accused of stealing more than $115,000 from a local charity pleaded guilty Monday, and was sentenced to five years pre-trial deferment.

Thelma Hilbert, of Corbin, was indicted on 22 counts of knowingly diverting charitable gaming funds from legitimate charitable purposes or lawful expenses from the organization Women Helping Others back in November 2016.

Only two of those counts were under $300. Amounts as large as $18,000 were taken at times. The theft took place from January 2014 through November 2014.

Two other women, Barbara Reeves and Tammy Walker, were also indicted on charges relating to the theft. Reeves was indicted on 22 counts of knowingly diverting charitable gaming funds from legitimate charitable purposes, and Walker was indicted on 10 counts of knowingly diverting charitable gaming funds from legitimate charitable purposes or lawful expenses.

The trial for all three women was severed back in March after it was agreed by defense attorneys and Commonwealth's Attorney Ronnie Bowling that it was the best course of action moving forward.

Hilbert is due back in court on Nov. 18 for a status update on the real-estate and other assets she was forced to forfeit. The court will check on the progress of the forfeiture as well as make sure those assets recovered will cover the cost of Hilbert's restitution.

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