GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - A fired social services worker in Southeast Texas who stole from people she was assigned to help must serve 10 years in prison.
A judge in Galveston on Wednesday sentenced 47-year-old Sylvia Ann Villarreal of Hitchcock. Villarreal on June 17 pleaded guilty to felony theft.
The Galveston County Daily News reports Villarreal must also pay $50,000 in restitution.
Villarreal worked for Galveston County's guardianship program for nearly 15 years before she was fired in 2010. She was later indicted on a charge of theft by public servant involving funds since 2007.
The investigation began after a judge who appointed Villarreal to assist wards of the county noticed irregularities with their checking accounts. Records show many of the checks were made out to cash.
Authorities since then have implemented audits.
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