Public Protection Cabinet
Harlan woman sentenced in charitable gaming case

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, July 01, 2008  
Contact Information:  Jim Carroll, 502-564-5525  

     A Harlan County woman was sentenced yesterday to a five-year, probated jail term in a case involving theft from a Middlesboro charity.


      Julie L. Weedman, 37, of Evarts, was sentenced in Bell Circuit Court. In addition to the probated jail term, Weedman was ordered to pay restitution totaling nearly $49,000.


     On June 2, Weedman pleaded guilty to 39 felony counts of diversion of charitable gaming funds, 47 felony forgery counts and 11 misdemeanor diversion counts.


     The Department of Charitable Gaming (DCG) arrested Weedman in July 2007 following an investigation.  She is former treasurer of the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Lodge 11139 in Middlesboro.


      In late 2006, the organization’s president learned that a check had bounced, even though officers believed the auxiliary had thousands of dollars in its accounts. The lodge filed a complaint with DCG. Investigators concluded that the defendant had forged the president’s signature on checks, cashed them and pocketed the money.


    Department investigators Michael Doane and Nicole Creech worked with Bell Commonwealth’s Attorney Karen Blondell on the case.


     Under the terms of a plea agreement, Weedman is directed to repay the VFW post $854 a month for the next 59 months.


     “The department is committed to ensuring that gaming operations benefit the charities as intended,” said Commissioner Henry Lackey. “As this case demonstrates, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who seeks to divert funds from those deserving organizations.”


       More than 800 charitable organizations sponsor gaming in Kentucky, with gross receipts totaling $527 million. The department is charged with ensuring such gaming complies with state laws. Last year, DCG conducted 161 investigations. The department is part of the Public Protection Cabinet.