BRF woman sentenced in bribery and fraud case - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

BRF woman sentenced in bribery and fraud case


MADISON, Wisconsin (WXOW) - A Black River Falls woman is sentenced to prison for her role in what federal prosecutors charged were loan fraud and bribery schemes.

In federal court in Madison Wednesday, Deborah Atherton received a four year, two month prison sentence.

According to prosecutors, Atherton used fake W-2's to obtain $900,000 in loans. Prosecutors also stated that one victim suffered a $500,000 loss when Atherton defaulted on the loans.

In the bribery scheme, prosecutors say that over a two year period, Atherton and co-defendant Timothy Whiteagle bought a car for a Ho-Chunk legislator, Clarence Pettibone, for helping them do business with the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Both Whiteagle and Pettibone were convicted for their roles in the crimes.  Pettibone was sentenced in July to five years in prison.  Whiteagle is set for sentencing on October 24th.

In his sentencing, Judge William Conley said the prison term was based on the serious nature of Atherton's crimes.  Judge Conley expressed concern about the effect the fraud had on the victim and noted the need to deter others from considering such crimes.


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