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Prison ordered for embezzler

California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

June 21, 2008|Harriet Ryan

A woman who embezzled from Charlton Heston and writer Stephen Cannell to pay off massive credit card debt was sentenced to five years in prison Friday.

Sharon Walker, 56, an employee of a business management firm, acknowledged in Superior Court that she stole more than $700,000 from the late actor and Cannell, a best-selling author and television producer. She pleaded no contest to charges of grand theft and tax evasion.

According to Deputy Dist. Atty. Marisa Zarate, Walker siphoned the money from the high-profile accounts over a six-year period ending in December 2005 by forging signatures.

A bank employee discovered the scheme when Walker used a check from Cannell's personal account to pay down debt on one of 11 credit cards she held, according to prosecutors. Judge David Horwitz also ordered Walker to pay restitution to the victims and $81,000 in back taxes.

-- Harriet Ryan

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