Friday, September 21, 2012
Prosecutors are trying to get a reduced sentence for Rachel Duncan, the former S.C. Hospitality Association accountant who was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Federal prosecutors are seeking a lesser sentence for Rachel Duncan, a former accountant for the S.C. Hospitality Association, who admitted to wire fraud and tax evasion charges earlier this year, according to an Associated Press article on WLTX. Prosecutors have filed court papers seeking a reduced sentence from 30 months to 24 months for her providing information that led to drug arrests in both Richland and Lexington counties, the article said. In August, Duncan was sentenced to 30 months in prison for embezzling nearly $500,000 from the hospitality association. She was also ordered Duncan to pay $367,508.84 in restitution to the organization and $85,333 to the Internal Revenue Service. Read more here.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
A judge sentenced Rachel Duncan in federal court Tuesday.
The former accountant for the S.C. Hospitality Association will spend 30 months in prison for embezzling nearly $500,000 from the organization. Rachel Duncan, 41, was sentenced in federal court Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr. also ordered Duncan to pay $367,508.84 in restitution to the hospitality association and $85,333 to the Internal Revenue Service. Duncan pleaded guilty in April to wire fraud and tax evasion charges. Between 2006 and 2012, Duncan took about $480,000 from the hospitality association by writing checks to herself and depositing them in her personal account, and by transferring money to her debit card, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. She used the money for online gambling. …
Sunday, April 29, 2012
The ex-accountant said she is addicted to gambling, but is getting help for the problem.
Rachel Duncan, the former accountant for the S.C. Hospitality Association, said nothing is left of the nearly $500,000 she stole from the organization and used for online gambling. In an exclusive interview with The State newspaper last week, Duncan said she is "embarrassed" about her gambling addiction. Duncan pleaded guilty last Wednesday to federal charges of wire fraud and tax evasion. During the court hearing, prosecutors also said they found sexually-oriented photos of Duncan on former association director Tom Sponseller's computer. But Duncan told The State newspaper that she did not have a sexual relationship with Sponseller, and did not give him the photos. “Tom and I were really close but not like they said,” Duncan told The …
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tom Sponseller, who killed himself in February, had sexually-oriented photos of Rachel Duncan, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to tax fraud, on his computer, prosecutors say.
Tom Sponseller, former director of the S.C. Hospitality Association, might have had a sexual relationship with the accountant who pleaded guilty to embezzling money from the organization, prosecutors said Wednesday in federal court. Prosecutors said they found sexually-oriented photos of accountant Rachel Duncan on Sponseller's computer, according to a report from WIS. Duncan was in federal court in Columbia to plead guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion charges, according to the report. She is accused of taking more than $480,000 from the association to use for online gambling. But prosecutors found no indication that Sponseller received any of the stolen money, according to the Assoicated Press. Duncan worked closely with Sponseller, …
Friday, April 20, 2012
Duncan will appear in court Wednesday in Columbia.
The former accountant for the S.C. Hospitality Association has admitted to embezzling $480,000 from the organization and using the money for online gambling, according to multiple reports. Federal documents show 41-year-old Rachel Duncan plans to plead guilty next week to federal charges of wire fraud and tax evasion, according to The State. Between 2006 and 2012, Duncan transferred the money from the Hospitality Association by writing checks to herself and depositing them in her personal account, according to a document filed in court by the U.S. Attoryney's Office in Columbia. She also transferred association money to her debit card, according to the document. Duncan then transferred money from her bank account "to various shell …
Thursday, March 8, 2012
S.C. Hospitality Association Chairman Rick Erwin released the finding of an audit of the association's finances.
An audit of the South Carolina Hospitality Association's finances shows that more than $480,000 was misappropriated since 2009, association Chairman Rick Erwin said Thursday at a press conference. Erwin hired The Hobbs Group, a Columbia accounting firm, to conduct the audit after questions arose about missing money at the organization. Federal law enforcement officials already had launched an investigation into missing money at the organization when the association's President Tom Sponseller went missing in February. Police found Sponseller dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound more than a week later. In his suicide note, Sponseller talked about his embarrassment and disappointment over the investigation. Erwin said at a press …
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Columbia police chief lets two employees go because of the handling of the case.
Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott fired one employee and accepted the retirement of another as a result of what he referred to as "mishandling and failures" in the Tom Sponseller missing person case. The deputy chief of administration/investigations was fired and the captain of investigations retired Thursday, Scott said. "In this situation, I have reviewed the actions of others and have determined that it is in the best interest of the department and the City to take these personnel actions to keep us moving forward in a positive direction," Scott said in a press release. Scott announced Wednesday that he was launching an investigation into why investigators failed for 10 days to search Sponseller's desk at the S.C. Hospitality …
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tom Sponseller's suicide note shows his feelings on federal investigation
The suicide note left by South Carolina lobbyist Tom Sponseller revealed his embarassment over a federal investigation into the business he led and his disappointment in himself. The note, initially discovered by Sponseller's co-workers and obtained by WIS, seemed to explain why Sponseller may have killed himself. "It is quite disappointing that all the work our members and staff put into building one of the best associations in the state has been jeopardized," Sponseller's note said, referring to a federal investigation into missing money at the S.C. Hospitality Assocation. Sponseller said he "failed to make sure everything was right," with the missing money until police had already discovered it. See all of Patch's coverage of Tom …
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
S.C. Hospitality Association President disappeared 10 days ago.
Update (3:30 p.m.): Scott Disappointed CPD Couldn't Find Body Sooner Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott said he was disappointed that it took his department more than a week to locate the body of a South Carolina lobbyist who killed himself on Feb. 18. Scott held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to announce that the body of Tom Sponseller had been found in a back room of a parking garage in downtown Columbia. Sponseller, reported missing by his family on Feb. 18, apparently commited suicide and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said. A 9 mm handgun was found near the body, police said. "I'm really disappointed that the family had to go through this many days of grief," Scott said. "I …
Monday, February 27, 2012
S.C. Hospitality Association CEO Tom Sponseller missing for 10 days
The family of a missing South Carolina CEO released a YouTube video Sunday, hoping to reach more people who could help locate 'Papa Tom.' Tom Sponseller, the CEO of the South Carolina Hospitality Association, has been missing since Feb. 18. He was last seen at his downtown Columbia office. Details emerged last week of a federal investigation into missing money at the Hospitality Association, but that development led to no progress in the missing persons case. A spokesman from the Columbia Police Department told The State newspaper that there was no news regarding Sponseller's whereabouts as of Sunday. Anyone with information about Sponseller's disappearance or his whereabouts should call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.