King’s Food embezzler who stole nearly $700,000 fails to keep up with restitution

An Iowa Park woman who stole over $680,000 while bookkeeping for the old King’s Food store on Ninth Street had her probation revoked and was transferred to a different kind of probation recently, court documents show.

Debra Jones Blaine, who is in her 60s, pleaded guilty to theft over $200,000 and was first placed on 10 years of probation on March 9, 2012, as part of a plea bargain, according to court records.

The offense is punishable by up to life in prison.

Blaine used her position as bookkeeper at the now defunct King’s to embezzle $681,030 from January 2005 to November 2009, according to the Times Record archives.

Debra Jones Blaine

The store owner told police Blaine was supposed to transfer totals from the grocery store’s daily sheets to its weekly ledger, according to TRN archives.

But she changed the dollar amounts on different line items in the ledger and pocketed the difference, according to TRN archives. Much of the fraud concerned food stamp transactions.

Blaine was placed on deferred-adjudication probation in 2012 in 30th District Court, which meant the judge back then held off on convicting her.

And it meant she could avoid a conviction altogether by successfully fulfilling the conditions of her probation.

Those conditions included paying back $466,112.96 to the store owner in 118 monthly payments that increased in amount over the years, court documents show.

Blaine fell behind $2,000 in her restitution payments to the estate of Darrell Taylor, according to court records filed March 4.

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The Wichita County District Attorney’s Office asked 30th District Judge Jeff McKnight to revoke Blaine’s probation and go ahead with her conviction, court documents show.

Blaine was arrested and booked into the Wichita County Law Enforcement Center March 8, according to online jail records. She was released the same day on a $5,000 bond.

On Friday, McKnight convicted Blaine and sentenced her to 10 years of regular probation, according to court filings.

The judge also ordered Blaine to pay $314,662.96 in restitution, court documents show.

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Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news, politics and more. Contact Trish with news tips at tchoate@gannett.com. Her Twitter handle is @Trishapedia.

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: Debra Jones Blaine quest to probation in King’s Food embezzlement

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