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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Forgery, theft sends woman to prison

  • A woman was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison Wednesday for 48 counts of forgery and theft for crimes she committed while working for a Leavenworth County company.
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  • A woman was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison Wednesday for 48 counts of forgery and theft for crimes she committed while working for a Leavenworth County company.
    Jamie L. Warhurst, 37, a former Parker resident, pleaded guilty last month to 45 counts of forgery, two theft charges and one count of attempted theft.
    The crimes occurred in 2010 and 2011 while Warhurst worked as a payroll accountant for National Cold Storage in southeast Leavenworth County.
    Warhurst stole nearly $40,000 from the company, and attempted to steal an additional $20,000, Assistant County Attorney Adam Zentner said.
    She reportedly fled the state in 2011 before she could be arrested.
    During the next two years, she traveled to Mississippi, New Mexico, and finally Utah, where she was arrested after a high-speed, long-distance car chase that ended in an armed standoff lasting several hours, Zentner said.
    Warhurst had been charged in Leavenworth County District Court with 72 counts. But, she pleaded guilty last month to only 48 of them. Remaining charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
    The prosecution and defense also agreed to a recommended sentence of 30-months, or 2.5 years, as part of the plea agreement.
    During Wednesday's sentencing, Zentner said the defendant is intelligent and charismatic.
    "She's able to gain a position of trust," he said.
    The prosecutor said Warhurst has had a pattern of forgery and theft that began 17 years ago. He said her motive has traditionally been feeding cocaine and heroin habits.
    In the Leavenworth County case, Warhurst used multiple banks, forged the names of multiple people and was able to evade detection for almost two years, Zentner said.
    Warhurst's former boss, Amir Minoofar, wrote a letter that was read in court Wednesday.
    He wrote that in addition to the money that was stolen, Warhurst had caused National Cold Storage thousands of employee hours to audit and correct records and recover losses. He said the company also lost valued business as a result of the defendant's actions.
    Minoofar wrote that the defendant not only forged employees' names, but she also had access to confidential records such as Social Security numbers and banking information.
    Defense attorney Kevin Reardon said Warhurst has taken responsibility for her actions. Reardon said he believes the time Warhurst spent in jail for this case has been her longest period of incarceration.
    "It has been a sobering time for her," he said.
    Warhurst said she did not have an accounting degree as had been stated earlier in court.
    "I am a great pretender," she said.
    Warhurst said she can sell a person anything at anytime.
    Page 2 of 2 - "And people buy it," she said.
    She referred to this as a gift or curse.
    Warhurst said she wanted to apologize to the victims. She said Minoofar had treated her like family and she essentially spat in his face.
    Warhurst also mentioned a friend who worked at National Cold Storage. Because of her actions, Warhurst said she threw away 20 years of friendship.
    When imposing the sentence, District Judge Gunnar Sundby ordered Warhurst to pay more than $34,000 in restitution.
    The judge said he would not impose fines in the case.
    Reardon asked that Warhurst receive 290 days of jail credit for the time she has been incarcerated since waiving extradition from Utah to Kansas.
    Sundby said he would give the defendant credit for the 156 days she's been in custody in Kansas. The judge said he didn't know if he could grant credit for time a person has spent in custody in another state.
    "I just need to see if I have the authority to do that," he said.
    Warhurst has pending criminal matters in Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, according to Zentner.
    Leavenworth man sentenced for burglary, intent to sell
    Ramaun Johnson, 26, of Leavenworth, was sentenced Wednesday morning in Leavenworth County District Court to 41 months in prison for residential burglary and possession with intent to sell marijuana.
    Johnson entered a residence in June at Ralph Bunch Drive, where he had previously lived. He took money owners of the property had hidden, the Leavenworth County Attorney's Office reported in a news release.
    "The owners said he was the only other person to know where that money was hidden and (he) had just moved out," according to the release.
    The Leavenworth Police Department pulled over a vehicle June 24 in which Johnson was a passenger. The police officer reported smelling marijuana.
    A search of the vehicle produced 53.2 grams of marijuana, which was "wrapped in individual baggies for distribution," the release states.
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