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Employee Guilty Of Embezzling From Park Sentenced

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

National Park News

On September 21st, Lydia L. White, 49, formerly of Hooper, Colorado, was sentenced in federal court to 33 months in jail for embezzling money from Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.  The judge also ordered White to pay the National Park Service $738,471 in restitution.  Once released from prison, she will have to serve three years’ supervised release. In January, 2011, a National Park Service budget technician working at the park was reconciling third party draft checks when she noticed that two checks had not been entered into the park’s vendor log.  Upon inquiry, the technician discovered the checks had been written to Richard White, Lydia White's husband.  An investigation ensued which ultimately revealed that White had written over 870 checks totaling $731,009.54 to her husband between January, 2007, and January, 2011. The investigation also revealed that White made a number of unauthorized purchases using her National Park Service issued credit card.  The charges included purchases for wood flooring for her home, clothing, fencing and a stay at the Pagosa Springs Resort.  The total of unauthorized purchases on the credit card came to $7,461.09. White was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 5, 2011.  She pled guilty to theft of government property and money laundering on May 4, 2012.  This case was investigated by the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch and IRS Criminal Investigations.


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