Another Beckley law firm office manager has pleaded guilty to embezzlement.

Wednesday morning in Raleigh County Circuit Court, Judy Bragg, 51, of Beckley, became the fourth Beckley law office employee to be convicted of the felony crime in the last five years.

According to assistant prosecutor Dennis V. Garrison III, Bragg embezzled $22,884.99 from the Don Stacy law office between June 13, 1997, and June 2, 2004.

She faces the possibility of one to 10 years in the penitentiary when she is sentenced this summer.

Garrison said a local CPA’s review of the firm’s records led to Bragg’s arrest and that Bragg admitted to Beckley police that she had taken some $10,000 from her employer. In court Wednesday, Bragg told Judge John Hutchison she did not know the exact amount she embezzled, but she did not dispute the nearly $23,000 total.

Bragg remains free on bond pending the outcome of her sentencing hearing. Some of the other local law office managers convicted of the same crime have received probation, and others have been sent to jail.

In December 2005, Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick granted Bonnie Crouch — convicted of embezzling more than $100,000 from the Wooton Law Firm — her request for a reconsideration of sentence. Crouch had served two months of her one-to-10-year penitentiary sentence when Kirkpatrick granted her request for probation, citing the death of her young child’s caregiver, her college enrollment, a lack of a criminal record and favorable comments from her superiors within the West Virginia Air National Guard.

In May 2005, Lesa Faye Meade received a year-long jail sentence for her guilty plea to embezzling more than $150,000 from Beckley attorney Eugene Pecora between 1996 and 2002.

And in 2000, Crystal Tucker received a sentence of probation — which court documents indicate she eventually violated — for embezzling more than $30,000 from Beckley attorney Kyle Lusk.

— E-mail: bnaudrey@register-herald.com

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