WASHINGTON - A Maryland woman has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for embezzling more than $200,000 from a federal religious freedom commission.
Forty-eight-year-old Carmelita Hines of Waldorf was sentenced Friday for the scheme at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which advises the president and lawmakers. She pleaded guilty in February to wire fraud.
According to court documents, Hines, the office operations manager, repeatedly used agency credit cards to pay personal expenses and make cash withdrawals totaling more than $217,000 since 2007, then altered statements and other documents to hide the scheme.
Hines bought gift cards, computer equipment, an iPod, cosmetics, movie tickets and cellphones and invested in a "get-rich-quick" scheme.
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