The former treasurer of a southern Illinois organization is sentenced for stealing
The former treasurer of the Perry County Agricultural Society has been sentenced after pleading guilty to stealing more than $100,000 from the organization.
The U.S. attorney reports 49-year-old Billy Harris received a 21-month federal prison term.
Harris served as treasurer of the society, which operates all events at the Perry County Fairgrounds, from 2011 to 2018.
Harris admitted to paying personal expenses and buying personal items with the organization's money. He also admitted to writing checks to himself and his spouse and forging another Board member's signature.
In explaining her decision to sentence Harris to prison, the judge said individuals who prey on small community organizations cannot steal large sums of money and then simply say “I’m sorry” and walk away with no real consequences.
In addition to the 21 month prison sentence, the court also ordered Harris to nearly $149,000 in restitution to the Perry County Agricultural Society.