The former bookkeeper at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in West Virginia will spend more than seven years in federal prison for siphoning off $1.3 million from the resort over five years and using part of it to buy property in Virginia.
Anita Ambler, 49, a Los Angeles native living in Reva, Va., was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Wheeling to 87 months behind bars and ordered to repay the amount she embezzled.
She must also forfeit her property in Reva and a vehicle she bought with the stolen money.
Ms. Ambler, also known as Anita Marie Webb, was convicted in April after a jury trial in Wheeling.
The FBI said she embezzled the funds between 2005 and 2010 while she was in charge of the resort's horsemen's purse account used to pay out prizes in thoroughbred races. The account contains money deposited by horsemen and proceeds from winnings.
Ms. Ambler was also responsible for sending communications from Mountaineer to horsemen's account holders and knew which accounts were dormant and could be used fraudulently without discovery, federal prosecutors said.
Agents said she concealed the thefts with forged checks, false deposits and fraudulently issued checks in the names of family members and in the name of Forgotten Farms, a corporate entity she established to buy the property.
She covered her tracks by making fake entries into the Mountaineer computer system.
The scheme came undone in the summer of 2010, after she deposited large amounts into her Forgotten Farms account and then wrote a check on that account for more than $202,000 to pay for the three-bedroom house in rural Reva and five acres surrounding it.
She left the resort a few weeks later, but an audit soon after turned up the missing money. Mountaineer then called in the FBI.
Torsten Ove: firstname.lastname@example.org First Published July 30, 2013 8:00 AM