The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

June 19, 2012

Sentencing hearing postponed again in local fraud case

The sentencing of Joplin businesswoman Peggy Newton on a wire fraud conviction was postponed a second time Monday in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

The U.S. attorney’s office and the 39-year-old defendant and her attorney apparently remain at odds over the recommended length of sentence and the restitution request contained in a pre-sentence investigation report.

The federal government’s electronic court records system shows that the two sides met Monday in District Judge Richard Dorr’s chambers in lieu of a sentencing hearing that had been reset from May 7. A new date has yet to be scheduled.

Newton pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud on Oct. 14 in a plea deal with the U.S. attorney’s office. An original 25-count indictment alleged that she defrauded Diane Pine, her partner in a Joplin home decor business, Evergreen & Amber, by forging checks on the store’s bank accounts, and using Pine’s credit cards and the store’s credit cards for her own benefit and personal use.

The government is seeking a prison term of 63 months and a restitution order for $282,149.95. The original indictment maintained that the extent of the fraud exceeded $300,000.

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