User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


73° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

SF Therapist Acquitted Of Embezzlement

December 7, 2012, 5:47 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SF Therapist Acquitted Of Embezzlement
Tammy Lias

SIOUX FALLS, SD -

The Sioux Falls therapist and bookkeeper accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars from the Family Institute of the Midwest is a free woman.

Friday afternoon Judge Kathleen Caldwell acquitted Tammy Lias of one count of grand theft.

Lias was accused of taking more than $70,000 when she worked at the Family Institute of the Midwest, which specializes in marriage and family counseling.

The documents submitted to the court to prove the embezzlement were put together by the executive director of the nonprofit organization and her husband and a full forensic audit was never done.

In her ruling Friday afternoon, Judge Caldwell said there was never any evidence that Lias intended to take the money but was simply a therapist who was trying to do the bookkeeping and was in over her head.

"This isn't a rah rah moment. This isn't a hooray moment. This is just a moment of grace and justice and this is done, and for that I am so thankful," Lias' defense attorney Scott Hoy said after court.

Lias' attorneys successfully argued for acquittal because they said a reliable accounting was never done for the Family Institute of the Midwest.

They also said Lias, a therapist turned bookkeeper, may have mismanaged the finances but never intentionally stole the money.

Judge Caldwell agreed saying in court that several witnesses involved with the Family Institute of the Midwest testified during the two-day trial that Lias apologized several times and at one point offered to pay the money back.

"The intent has to be shown very strongly to be beyond a reasonable doubt and that is especially where this was lacking," Hoy said.

Family Institute Executive Director J. Carol Carlsen says even though Lias was acquitted she says Lias' personal credit cards were being paid from the company's account and still believes she was stealing money.

"She absolutely took money that was not hers and we will be pursuing it in the civil trial," Carlsen said.

Carlsen said that they never had a full forensic audit done because the Family Institute couldn't afford one and the state does not pay for forensic audits in criminal prosecution.

Carlsen feels like she's been victimized twice.

"We were victimized when she did all these things and we feel victimized again today by justice not prevailing," Carlsen said.

But Lias and her defense attorneys believe justice did prevail.

"Justice was done today and now it's time to move on to peace," Hoy said.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





RELATED STORIES


 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Sutton Bay CEO Dies In UTV Rollover Crash

8/25/2014 2:34 PM

The CEO of Sutton Bay Resort in central South Dakota died after rolling his 2014 Polaris Ranger late Sunday night.

Full Story
Authorities Search For Missing Inmate

8/24/2014 10:43 AM

31-year-old Bridget Franzen failed to report to a work release job on Saturday, August 23.

Full Story
SF Mother, Daughter Admit To Large Drug Conspiracy

8/27/2014 10:54 AM

Faith Rasmussen, 21, and her 55-year-old mother Theresa Rasmussen admit they were bringing marijuana from California to South Dakota and distributing ...

Full Story
Car vs. School Bus Crash Near Inwood, Iowa

8/26/2014 11:31 AM

Authorities in northwest Iowa are investigating a serious crash involving a car and a school bus.

Full Story
SF Drug Ring Involved 220 lbs. Of Marijuana

8/27/2014 5:48 PM

Her boyfriend was killed during a botched robbery in December in northwest Sioux Falls. Faith Rasmussen and her mother, Theresa, have now pleaded guil...

Full Story | Watch


Events