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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Plea agreement signed in welfare fraud cases

  • A plea agreement has been reached for a couple who were accused of committing welfare fraud in Leavenworth County.
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  • A plea agreement has been reached for a couple who were accused of committing welfare fraud in Leavenworth County.
    A written plea agreement for Gregory L. Riley and Diana L. Riley has been signed. But Rileys have not yet returned to court since signing the document earlier this month.
    A court calendar indicates the Rileys are next scheduled to be in court Feb. 28 for what had been set as a preliminary hearing. But Michael Highland, who is the attorney for Gregory Riley, said Wednesday that parties are trying to arrange a court appearance for Jan. 25.
    According to the plea agreement, Gregory and Diana Riley each will plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of theft. The crimes are alleged to have occurred between June 2005 and November 2009.
    They also agree to jointly pay $87,000 in restitution to the Kansas Department of Children and Families, which formerly was called the Social Rehabilitation Services, according to the written plea agreement.
    There will be a recommendation for a minimum of one year of probation to be extended until restitution payments are satisfied.
    This is the second plea agreement to be reached in the Rileys' cases. They entered into one in February, pleading no contest to charges of welfare fraud and perjury. In March, they each were sentenced to one year of probation.
    But the defense and prosecution disagreed over how much restitution the Rileys owed. In June, District Judge Gunnar Sundby ruled the couple owed $50,105 in restitution.
    The defense asked the judge to reconsider this ruling, requesting to have an evidentiary hearing on restitution.
    That ultimately led to the Rileys' pleas being set aside in August.
    The Rileys then faced multiple charges of perjury, theft and social welfare fraud.
    The new plea agreement outlines a plan for paying the restitution. The Rileys agree to pay a minimum of $200 per month or 20 percent of their net income, whichever is greater. There's a prior civil judgment against them, and a majority of the $200 they pay each month will be applied toward the civil judgment until it's paid off.
    As a condition of the agreement, the defendants waive their right to appeal the sentence. And if they successfully challenge the sentence, it will be a considered a breach of the plea agreement and the prosecution can reinstate charges.

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