Laura Wissert, a former employee of the Carson City Sheriff’s Department, was sentenced to prison Monday for embezzling more than $100,000 from the department over more than three years.
District Judge Todd Russell gave her one to four years on each of the two counts she pleaded guilty to and ordered them imposed consecutively.
She was in charge of the bail and forfeiture accounts for the department but resigned that position a year ago after the investigation into the missing money began.
Her lawyer Noel Waters told the court she has strong community support and fully admitted her crimes. He said the problem began when her husband lost his job.
“All I can tell you is good people sometimes when faced with temptation do things they regret,” Waters said.
He said she would be a good candidate for probation, which would enable her to continue making restitution.
But Assistant District Attorney Mark Krueger said Wissert’s conduct was a continuing pattern of thefts from those two accounts dating back to 2010. He said she took $82,610 from the bail account and $18,759 from the forfeitures account, a total of $101,369.
“She took money from another source and deposited it in the bail account to cover what she took,” Krueger said.
Krueger said she embezzled city money on a daily basis for more than three years and that prison is the appropriate penalty in her case
When she was charged, Sheriff Kenny Furlong said the crime “hit us below the belt.”
He said Wissert was a very popular employee and one of two people honored as the department’s “Team of the Year” the year before her arrest.
Of the amount taken, the city’s insurance company covered $51,379 of the total.
Wissert turned over another $10,606 she received in unpaid leave when she quit, leaving a bill of $39,373 to be repaid.
But the insurance company is expected to go after her in a civil action to recover the money it had to pay out.
Krueger said another consequence of what she did is that it contributed to an increase in the city’s insurance premium this year.