A 70 year old Granite City woman will serve some jail time and pay a fine after pleading guilty to stealing more than $900,000 from her employer. Flora Buckingham was sentenced this week to 28 months in jail and pay back the money she stole over a 6 year period while working for a doctors office.
Buckingham was prosecuted through the U.S. Attorney's Office of Southern Illinois, and pleaded guilty to mail fraud back in September. Authorities say she admitted to writing third party checks to pay her credit card bills while disguising the payments as legitimate expenses in the office's ledger. Her defense attorney told the judge that much of the money she stole was used for gambling, which she took part in to deal with depression. Judge G. Patrick Murphy said he took into consideration her age, and said if she would have been 50 years old he would have agreed to the maximum 36 month sentence. U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton said the sentence sends a message that no matter what the age, crimes of this magnitude will be taken seriously and strongly prosecuted.