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Embezzling relief-agency worker sentenced

A 40-year-old Sagle woman has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from the founders of a humanitarian relief organization.

April Leigh Mathews was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Justin L. Quackenbush, who also ordered her to pay $109,486 in restitution. She earlier pleaded guilty to five counts of making false statements on credit card applications.

Mathews defrauded The Luke Commission, which provides medical care in Swaziland, Africa. It is operated by Dr. Harry VanderWal and his wife, Echo.

Mathews was hired as an office assistant in 2007. Prosecutors say she opened lines of consumer credit in the victims’ names, added her name to existing charge accounts and forged checks and overpaid herself and her husband for work they were contracted to do.