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UPDATED: Convicted thief Freebury sentenced Friday in federal court

This news story was published on December 7, 2012.
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Patricia Sue Freebury
Image from Patricia Sue Freebury’s public Facebook page

CEDAR RAPIDS – A woman who was caught stealing thousands of dollars from the Mason City YMCA in 2006 and then later caught stealing tens of thousands from a Rockford business was sentenced Friday in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Patricia Sue Freebury, 34, from Stacyville, Iowa, was found guilty of two charges: bank fraud and felon in possession of a firearm on August 22, 2012 and sentenced Friday to 30 months in prison and 8 years probation plus restitution.

According to records, Freebury embezzled about $25,000 from the Mason City YMCA and was charged in 2006 by Mason City police.  She was sentenced by Judge John Mackey to 10 years in prison (suspended), 5 years probation, restitution and fees of $22,215.04, and a $1,000 fine which was suspended.  She still owes the court $5,610.00 in that case.

Freebury was employed as a bookkeeper at North Iowa Fabrication, Inc., in Rockford, Iowa from 2009 to 2011 and stole $175,539, the company said Friday.

In a plea agreement and at the sentencing hearing, Freebury admitted that over a two year period, from August 2009 to August 2011, she carried out a fraudulent scheme to steal money from her employer. Using her position as a claims accountant, Freebury wrote more than 200 company checks made payable to herself in amounts ranging from $250.00 to over $900.00 and forged the owner’s signature on the checks. To conceal the embezzlement, Freebury falsified company records to make it appear that the checks were made payable to various venders. Freebury used the proceeds of her crime to buy vehicles and other personal property. She also used a portion of the money she embezzled from this employer to pay restitution to her former employer for the money she previously embezzled. During a search of Freebury’s residence, officers seized 13 firearms.

Freebury was taken into custody by the United States Marshals and will be held in custody until she can be transported to a federal prison.

Steve Sliger of North Iowa Fabrication said Friday that he was in court in Cedar Rapids and gave a victim impact statement.

Sliger told that he feels the sentence was too light and that Freebury “showed no remorse today, was smiling and laughing.  She was allowed to clean out her 401K with us after she was arrested.”

Sliger also said that his business was severely impacted by Freebury’s theft.   “It impacted our entire business… we were lucky to be able to keep our doors open.  There’s a very, very slim chance we are ever going to be repaid.”

Sliger said he spoke directly to the judge in his impact statement.  “I told the judge we are a family company and we get close to our employes.  We did not know about her history but found out later.  We were assured she would never steal again.  She had gained our trust and we got blindsided.  What kind of example did she set for her kids?  We have given people second chances here.  We now have  a sour taste in our mouths about trying more of that.  We are very disappointed in the outcome.”

The Mason City YMCA and North Iowa Fabrication have not been the only businesses Freebury has crossed paths with.

Freebury stiffed North Iowa Collision Center on a $530 bill there and was taken to small claims court, where she lost, in 2006.  She still owes $596.00 to the court in fees and restitution in that case.

In addition, Freebury was taken to small claims court by Laketown Charlie Brown Daycare in Clear Lake for an unpaid bill there for $267.65 in 2004.  She lost that case in 2005 and still owes $341.05 to the court in fees and restitution in that case.

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5 Responses to UPDATED: Convicted thief Freebury sentenced Friday in federal court

  1. Avatar

    Laughing Reply Report comment

    December 8, 2012 at 8:18 am

    @LVS…totally agree…however the business in Rockford knew about her crime during her duration as an employee…and did nothing…can’t feel sorry for them!

  2. Avatar

    Katie Reply Report comment

    December 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Hmmmm. I can’t find her on FaceBook now.

  3. Avatar

    TheRealFred Reply Report comment

    December 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    About time one of these embezzling broads does some federal prison time.

  4. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    This woman just does not seem to learn. She has had a lot of chances and it is now time for her to pay for her crimes.

    • Avatar

      Just My Opinion Reply Report comment

      December 8, 2012 at 9:14 am

      I agree, LVS. Ordering her to pay restitution is no punishment at all. The victims will never see a dime of that money.