SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) -- Anna McKinney pleaded guilty Friday to one count of theft and was sentenced to five years deferred adjudication probation and fined $1,000. McKinney was also required to pay $55,477 in restitution at the time of her plea.
The charge against McKinney was a 3rd Degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
McKinney, 68, was president of the Denison Chamber of Commerce and oversaw the Denison Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
McKinney’s plea was entered following an investigation by the Texas Rangers. The investigation revealed several thousands of dollars
of suspicious payments to McKinney on accounts of the Denison Chamber and the Denison Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Rangers investigation and the audit identified $20,707 in questionable payments made from Denison Chamber accounts, and $18,377 from Convention and Visitors Bureau accounts to McKinney during 2015 and 2016.
The payments were made in the form of unauthorized bonus checks to McKinney, payments made to McKinney’s personal credit cards, and reimbursement checks to McKinney for business expenses which were never incurred by the Chamber or DCVB.
“Mrs. McKinney was cooperative with law enforcement and the investigation,” said Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown. “She interviewed with the Rangers, and explained that personal issues in her life were such that she made very bad decisions at that time. She has paid back everything that the audit identified as missing, and has also paid to the Chamber several thousands of dollars for the legal expenses and the cost of the audit. We seldom get this kind of cooperation and effort to make things right.”
As part of her plea, McKinney waived indictment on the charges at the time of her guilty plea and was processed through the jail on the day she pleaded guilty.
“In these situations where a defendant wants to plead guilty and has done everything possible to cooperate and rectify the situation, we
will allow them to waive indictment and process through the jail on the day of their guilty plea,” said Brown. “It is an accommodation, but we certainly want to encourage defendants to cooperate the way Mrs. McKinney has.”