Seward woman pleads guilty to embezzlement

2012-09-19T20:00:00Z 2012-09-19T22:42:04Z Seward woman pleads guilty to embezzlementBy the Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

A former Seward credit union employee pleaded guilty in federal court in Lincoln on Wednesday to stealing more than $600,000.

Crystal Lankford, 35, was indicted in April for embezzling nearly $662,000 from the H.B.E. Credit Union between 2006 and 2011.

On Wednesday, as part of a plea agreement, she told Magistrate Judge Cheryl Zwart she stole the money.

Lankford faces the same prison sentence and possible fine she would have if she’d been convicted -- as many as 30 years in federal prison and as much as a $1 million fine -- but as part of the plea deal she’ll avoid any more embezzlement of bank fraud charges.

Lawyers on both sides have not reached an agreement on how much Lankford will have to pay in restitution, but they agreed it will be upward of $600,000.

Lankford’s sentencing is scheduled for January.

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