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Bookkeeper embezzled $1M from Tucson museum

The Attorney General’s Office announced a 65-year-old Tucson woman faces up to 12-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to charges stemming from her theft of almost $1 million from a southern Arizona museum.

According to Attorney General Terry Goddard, Ruth Sons began working as a bookkeeper for the Tucson Museum of Art in 1990, but an internal audit of the institution completed last year found that Sons had embezzled $975,000 over the course of a five-year span ending in 2008.

Sons pleaded guilty to a single count of theft and fraud before a Pima County Superior Court judge on Aug.3. She was indicted in May on three counts of theft and fraud, as well as a single count of illegally conducting an enterprise.

Prosecutors and police contend Sons operated an “elaborate embezzlement scheme” that involved forging the signatures of museum’s management personnel and falsifying financial records to cover theft from the museum’s payroll, petty cash accounts and the museum shop.

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