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Two sentenced in embezzlement scheme

BY KEITH EPPS

Two more former employees of a local development company were ordered to serve prison terms Thursday.

Mia Maria Alexander, 45, of Stafford was sentenced in Stafford Circuit Court to a total of 30 years in prison with all but two years suspended.

Alexander had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of embezzlement.

James Richard Dodson, 28, of Ruther Glen was convicted of a single embezzlement count. He was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison with all but nine months suspended.

Judge William H. Shaw handled the sentencing.

Both Alexander and Dodson worked for Garrett Development Co. in Stafford when a series of thefts was uncovered late in 2011.

The company’s former chief financial officer, Sandy Winkler, was ordered in November to serve three years in prison after being convicted of six felony offenses.

According to court records and evidence presented in court, at least $300,000 was stolen from the Garrett company between March and December of 2011.

The thefts came to light in late 2011 when company President Andy Garrett received a call from Cardinal Bank asking about a check for $10,000 written to Winkler.

Garrett confronted Winkler after learning that his name had been forged on the check, then called the Stafford Sheriff’s Office after not being satisfied with Winkler’s explanation.

Detective Dave Wood’s ensuing investigation showed that Winkler had written 21 bogus checks.

The investigation also implicated Alexander and Dodson, who worked under Winkler.

Alexander told police that she used company funds to pay personal bills, court records show.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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