Indiana pubTV finance manager pleads guilty to stealing station funds

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The former finance manager of WFWA-TV in Fort Wayne, Ind., has pleaded guilty to embezzling money from the PBS member station.

In a plea bargain, Gail Waymire confessed to one count of routing nearly $9,000 of the station’s funds to her personal bank account and waived a jury trial. A federal grand jury in South Bend, Ind., indicted her last month on 20 charges in connection with stealing more than $130,000 from the station’s coffers over three years.

The FBI requested that no one at the station speak publicly on the matter while Waymire’s case is pending. Station Board Chair Randall Steiner also declined to comment to Current Tuesday.

In a court filing, Waymire detailed how she was hired in October 2009 to oversee WFWA’s finances. She said that on July 23, 2010, she created a fake invoice to move $8,975 into her personal account. “I used my position . . . to commit fraud,” she said in the document.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors said they would drop 19 counts and not seek the maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Waymire agreed to her plea in court Oct. 30. Her sentencing is set for Feb. 4.