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Woman sentenced in theft from building material group

CHARLOTTE – A Pineville woman who had been a bookkeeper for the Southern Building Material Association was sentenced Tuesday to 15 months in federal prison for taking between $200,000 and $400,000 from the organization.

Joan Elliott, 69, had pleaded guilty in January 2013 to one count of forged securities, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In addition to the prison term, she was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay $406,929 in restitution.

Elliott began working for the organization in 1999. The association provides programs, services, training and lobbying for lumber and building material companies in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Virginia, according to its website.

From 2006 and through May 2009, “Elliott used company checks to pay for personal expenses, falsely representing that the funds were used as payment of legitimate business expenses,” according to the statement.

The money was used to pay for a car, furniture and spa visits, among other things, according to the statement.

She was released on bond and will be allowed to report to a prison once one has been designated. Federal sentences do not allow for the possibility of parole.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny G. Sugar.

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