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Former WAVE business manager sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison

May 26, 2019

A former business manager at the Western Arizona Vocational Education District, Deborah Sue Long, was sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison by Judge Derek Carlisle Friday.

The state alleged that between 2011 and 2016 Long used her business manager position at WAVE to write checks to herself in an amount between $4,000 and $25,000.

In April, 44-year-old Long pleaded guilty to three felonies. The first two were fraudulent schemes and artifices as a Class 2 felony, and theft as a Class 3 felony in relation to the WAVE-related case. On Friday, she was sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison for the first two.

“With respect to the theft offenses in connection with the first case, the theft from the WAVE program, that’s a case where the defendant did, in fact, abuse her position and she was a public servant, she did use her position to perpetuate the crime,” the judge said. “And this is a program that is supported by taxpayer money that provides a valuable service for students, for the community I think in general. With respect to that, the court is finding that the defendant was a public servant as an aggravating factor in connection with this case.”

The other charge to which she pleaded guilty was in connection with a charge that she, while working as a bank teller, received a credit card from an elderly woman who was getting a new card and wanted her old one canceled. Long kept the old card and used it to spend more than $6,000. For that charge, she pleaded guilty to theft as a Class felony. She was sentenced to two years in prison for that charge.

Long was also placed on probation for seven years, which will take effect upon her release from prison.

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