Sentencing delayed for former ECHO Housing executive director

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– Stephanie TenBarge was supposed to be sentenced Friday, but the federal judge decided he needed more time to look the information over. TenBarge was ECHO Housing’s Executive Director for nearly ten years. She was arrested in February of 2019, charged with three counts of theft, and pleaded guilty to the charges last year.

TenBarge is accused of embezzling more than $140,000 from the organization to buy personal items, services, and property. Her attorneys claim TenBarge was paying herself back for health insurance expenses, mileage she used for work, and work related items and services she allegedly paid for with her own money.

“She was really providing cash flow and poured quite a few of her own expenses into the organization so we definitely dispute the government’s amount of loss,” said Josh Orem, an attorney over TenBarge’s case.

In court, TenBarge admitted to failing to submit the necessary paperwork to be reimbursed for her health insurance premium. The FBI agent, who has been investigating this case, says ECHO Housing’s current executive director does not turn in as many expenses to be reimbursed for and doesn’t travel to Indianapolis for work as often as TenBarge did. TenBarge is set to be sentenced February 16.

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(This story was originally published on January 8, 2021)

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