A Kansas veteran is asking Barton County District Judge Ron Svaty to show no leniency when sentencing the woman convicted of stealing more than $100,000 from funds earmarked for honoring World War II veterans.
Last month, a jury found LaVeta D. Miller guilty of two counts of theft by deception in amounts greater than $25,000 but less than $100,000. According to the prosecution, more than $100,000 was taken from Central Prairie RC&D accounts, including the account for the Central Prairie Honor Flight Program, between March 1, 2009, and July 31, 2012. Through the Honor Flight program, Kansas veterans were given expense-paid trips to Washington, D.C. World War II veterans received top priority, allowing them to see their memorial and other sights.
The crimes are Level 7 felonies on the state sentencing grid, and the standard sentence is 12 months in prison on each count. Probation is likely under the state guidelines, unless the judge finds a compelling reason not to place Miller on probation.
After her conviction, Svaty received a letter from Jack R. Ison, Topeka, which has been entered into Miller’s case file. Ison identifies himself as a veteran of the U.S. Navy for 20 years.
“I am appalled to see what she has done to the Honor Flights Program,” he wrote. “I would like to state she not only misappropriated funds from this great program, but also has deceitfully stripped away the trust from the veterans that depended on her.” Ison’s letter asks for full punishment allowed by the guidelines, adding Miller “should not be given any consideration for mercy.”
At least one person who failed to show up for jury duty at Miller’s trial could face a fine or jail time. A Hoisington man was issued a summons to appear in Barton County District Court this Friday to explain why he should not be punished for contempt of court.
Miller’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. on May 8.