Woman gets prison time for embezzling from clients

MISSOULA (AP) — A Montana woman who pleaded guilty to embezzling from clients of her money management business has been sentenced to nine months in prison and was ordered to pay $186,000 in restitution.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen sentenced 78-year-old Ellen Van Ausdol of Bozeman Friday for taking over $250,000 from clients of Fiduciary Consulting and Management over a six-year period. She admitted using most of the money to pay gambling debts.

People with developmental disabilities or who were otherwise unable to manage their own finances were court-appointed to have their money managed by Van Ausdol. She was a former Gallatin County District Court clerk.

Court records say she repaid nearly $120,000 to clients in 2016, leaving about $133,000 in restitution remaining. She also owes the IRS nearly $53,000 for not paying income taxes on the stolen money.

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