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Madison woman stole $32K in government checks in dead mother's name

MADISON, Wis. - A Madison woman who stole thousands of dollars in beneficiary money in her deceased mother's name was sentenced in federal court Thursday. 

Jeffrey Anderson, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, said in a news release Thursday that Stasia Hargis, 66, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to three years of probation for theft of government property. 

According to the release, from about August 2010 through March 1, 2012, Hargis deposited into her bank account $32,662 in United States Treasury checks payable to her deceased mother, whose name was also Stasia Hargis. The elder Stasia Hargis, who was a beneficiary of a Department of Defense annuity program, had died in July 2010. 

Hargis used the funds for her own benefit and sent forged certifications to the Department of Defense claiming to be her mother, the release said. Hargis didn't plead guilty to the charge, but she didn't contest any of the government’s evidence at a court trial.

The judge told Hargis, who has multiple prior convictions for operating while under the influence, that she "relentlessly deflected responsibility for everything she has ever done wrong," according to the release. Peterson said that the sentence was necessary to protect the public and to provide Hargis with the correctional treatment that she needed.  

Hargis was convicted on March 17. Hargis’s probationary sentence includes a condition of 120 days of community confinement and 180 days of alcohol consumption monitoring.


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