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      Seward Woman Sentenced to Prison and Restitution for Embezzlement Scheme

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      United States District Judge John Gerrard sentenced a Seward woman to prison time and restitution for money she embezzled from the credit union where she worked.

      Crystal Lankford pled guilty to embezzlement from a federally insured credit union in September. Monday, Lankford was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison as well as $636,000 in restitution. She will also have to serve five years supervised release following her prison term.

      Federal prosecutors say Lankford was the manager, treasurer and sole employee of HBE Credit Union in Seward. Between April 2006 and September 2011, she wrote checks to herself and her husband, Steve Lankford, from the credit union's operating account. She continued to take money out of the credit union until she quit in October 2011.

      Records showed that Lankford knew the HBE Credit Union account contained almost no funds at the time she quit.

      The Nebraska State Patrol andFBI conducted the investigation for this case.

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