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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2007
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Mom, daughter in Shelton State scam sentenced

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — A mother and daughter pair who worked at the Alabama Fire College received separate sentences of prison and home confinement Tuesday for their role in a property scam.

Gail Phillips, 58, received a 15-month prison sentence, while her daughter, Mindy Sexton, 31, was sentenced to six months home confinement for using state money to renovate a Shelton State Community College house that they bought at half its appraised value.

A federal jury found the women guilty of conspiracy and theft in April. The Fire College is located on the Shelton State campus and the women used the school's money to renovate the house, then bought it for $45,000 using an outdated appraisal.

The house was actually worth $92,000 following the renovations, which totaled more than $20,000 including materials.

U.S. District Court Judge Karon Bowdre also gave the women three years supervised probation after their sentences.

The pair also were ordered together to come up with $47,000 to pay the state the difference between the old and new appraisals of the home.

Defense lawyers told The Birmingham News the pair is expected to sell the home so they can come up with the money to pay restitution.

The pair had faced five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, for each count of conspiracy and the penalty for theft from an organization receiving federal funds is 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, for each count charged.

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Information from: The Birmingham News

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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