The convicted girlfriend of a Spokane Ponzi scheme artist paid cash for Gonzaga men’s basketball tickets weeks after being released from prison and before paying her court-ordered restitution, according to documents filed in federal court.
Shannon Stiltner used money she said was a gift from her mother to buy the basketball tickets and make a university donation, according to court documents filed on Thursday. Just weeks ago, she tried to buy the four midcourt seats but rescinded the payment after her ex-husband, with whom she shares the season tickets, called to express concern.
Sean McLaughlin, an assistant U.S. attorney, called the payment “a wholly unacceptable slap in the face to the court, the community and most importantly to defendant Stiltner’s victims.”
Stiltner was released from federal custody in late August. As part of her sentence after pleading guilty for failing to report illegal activity by real estate developer Greg Jeffreys, the court ordered Stiltner to pay more than $58,000 in restitution to two victims of real estate schemes. Stiltner was ordered to pay installments of $25 a month, or 10 percent of her monthly income, to the victims. Those payments had not been completed when she bought the tickets.
Jeffreys pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud in a series of real estate schemes from 2006 to 2013. He was sentenced in July to eight years in federal prison.
McLaughlin argues in the court filings the payment with cash, and failure to disclose the payment to the government, violated the conditions of her restitution order. He is requesting U.S. District Court Judge Rosanna M. Peterson to change the court order to require all future cash gifts given to Stiltner be used to pay the restitution amount.
Efforts to reach Stiltner’s victims were unsuccessful last week, though McLaughlin said he contacted them before filing the motion. Stiltner’s attorney declined comment Thursday, saying he hadn’t received permission to discuss the case from Stiltner.
Stiltner’s ex-husband Greg Green said via email he’d be willing to pay the $2,700 to the victims in exchange for Stiltner’s allotment of the season tickets.
The Gonzaga employee who accepted Stiltner’s cash payment said Stiltner told him that her probation officer was aware of the gift and the ticket purchase, according to the court documents.
Jeffreys is in custody at a low-security facility in California serving an eight-year sentence. He was ordered to pay $9.3 million in restitution. His ex-wife, Kimberly Jeffreys, was sentenced to 90 days of house arrest for her role in the schemes.
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