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Prison time for woman who stole from union

Updated: August 13, 2013 6:14AM



A Gary woman must pay back the more than $30,000 she stole from a local union along with serving three months on prison.U.S. District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen handed down the sentence Wednesday afternoon after denying Tracey Tigner’s request for probation.

Tigner, 41, pleaded guilty in February to embezzling $30,462 from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 460, based in Merrillville, where she worked. Tigner stole the money from November 2008 to April 2011 by writing herself checks and using the union’s credit card to make personal purchases.

Randy Godshalk, Tigner’s attorney, argued that the crime was not violent and that his client had recently been offered a job, which might be rescinded if she had to serve prison time.

Tigner, who spoke briefly, said her crime came from bad judgment.

“There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to take back what I did,” she said during the hearing at the U.S. District Court in Hammond.

Van Bokkelen said he understood prison time might mean Tigner couldn’t take her new job but said he thought she needed to serve time based on the length of her theft and the fact that she had previously served probation for a similar crime in 1989.

“She didn’t learn from probation the first time,” he said.

He added that although the union was repaid the lost money from insurance, it will still suffer through increased insurance rates.

“Economic injuries are no less real than other injuries, and hers was a larger one,” Van Bokkelen said.



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