Story Be­gins Prison Term

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Lynn Kut­ter

FARM­ING­TON — Farm­ing­ton for­mer district court clerk and fi­nance di­rec­tor Jimmy Story re­ported to prison last week on a 46-month sen­tence af­ter plead­ing guilty to steal­ing city and court funds and tax fraud.

Ac­cord­ing to the web­site for the U.S. Bureau of Pris­ons, Story’s regis­tra­tion num­ber is 14902-010, and he is an in­mate at Fed­eral Med­i­cal Cen­ter Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas. Story was or­dered to re­port to prison by noon, Aug. 22.

The prison is a low-se­cu­rity fed­eral med­i­cal cen­ter with only male of­fend­ers.

The web­site says FMC Fort

Worth has 1,602 to­tal in­mates. It was for­merly a fed­eral cor­rec­tional in­sti­tu­tion but was con­verted to a fed­eral med­i­cal cen­ter in early 2017.

Story, 57, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Nov. 27, 2017, to one count of theft con­cern­ing pro­grams that re­ceive fed­eral funds and one count of fil­ing a false in­come tax re­turn. He was al­lowed to re­main free while await­ing a sen­tenc­ing date.

He em­bez­zled more than $1 mil­lion over a pe­riod of eight to nine years while work­ing for the city of Farm­ing­ton. Most of the money was fines and fees paid to Farm­ing­ton’s district court.

U.S. District Judge Ti­mothy Brooks, on July 11, sen­tenced Story to serve a 46-month prison term

on Count 1 and a 36-month prison term on Count 2 for the con­vic­tions. The sen­tences will run con­cur­rently.

Upon his re­lease, Story will have to serve three years su­per­vised re­lease on Count 1 and one year su­per­vised re­lease on Count 2, to run con­cur­rently.

Brooks also or­dered Story to pay resti­tu­tion of $1,283,966 to the city and $371,956 to the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice.

The money judg­ment filed fol­low­ing the court pro­ceed­ing states that the United States is au­tho­rized to seize any spe­cific prop­erty that is sub­ject to for­fei­ture and to con­duct any dis­cov­ery the Court con­sid­ers prop­erty in iden­ti­fy­ing, lo­cat­ing or dis­pos­ing of the prop­erty.

For the IRS resti­tu­tion, Story was or­dered to pay $10 per month with the en­tire bal­ance to be paid in full no later than one month prior to the end of the pe­riod of su­per­vised re­lease.

Brooks fol­lowed fed­eral sen­tenc­ing guide­lines for the of­fen­sive level of Story’s con­vic­tions, which rec­om­mended a 37- to 46-month penalty range, but told Story he be­lieved the se­ri­ous­ness of the crimes war­ranted more time.

“You worked for the gov­ern­ment and you stole from the gov­ern­ment. Steal­ing from a lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity is on the more se­ri­ous end of the spec­trum,” Brooks said.

Brooks added, “You tar­nished the rep­u­ta­tion of the court sys­tem in Wash­ing­ton County. You’ve not only stolen but you cre­ated an ad­min­is­tra­tive night­mare. You fudged and fal­si­fied and con­cealed court records.”

Af­ter the sen­tenc­ing, Brooks al­lowed Story to re­main out on a $5,000 bond and to self-re­port to a des­ig­nated prison, yet to be named at the time. Story’s at­tor­ney said he had mul­ti­ple med­i­cal con­di­tions and those were to be eval­u­ated to de­ter­mine the best fed­eral prison to meet his phys­i­cal needs.

Fort Worth FMC pro­vides level 3 med­i­cal care, which is for in­mates who are con­sid­ered frag­ile pa­tients re­quir­ing fre­quent clin­i­cal con­tact and who may need as­sis­tance with daily ac­tiv­i­ties, such as bathing, dress­ing, or eat­ing – but do not re­quire daily nursing care.

Story be­gan work­ing for the city of Farm­ing­ton in 1995. He re­signed Dec. 5, 2016.

City staff dis­cov­ered dis­crep­an­cies in rev­enues and de­posits af­ter Story’s res­ig­na­tion and turned over in­for­ma­tion to the county pros­e­cut­ing at­tor­ney’s of­fice, which then brought in the FBI and Arkansas Leg­isla­tive Au­dit.

A leg­isla­tive au­dit re­port is­sued Oct. 13, 2017, showed Story mis­ap­pro­pri­ated more than $1.57 mil­lion over an eight-year pe­riod from Jan. 1, 2009, to Dec. 6, 2016. Al­most all the money, $1.53 mil­lion in rev­enues, was miss­ing from fines, costs and fees for District Court. An­other $43,629 of rev­enue was not de­posited into the city’s gen­eral fund dur­ing the same pe­riod.

The U.S. At­tor­ney’s of­fice is­sued a news re­lease Nov. 27, 2017, af­ter Story pleaded guilty to the charges.

The news re­lease stated that Story made five types of fraud­u­lent ad­just­ments in the district court’s man­age­ment sys­tem to re­duce the money bal­ance due from de­fen­dants and con­cealed the funds not de­posited.

“In each case, Story al­tered the records, stole the cash, and used it for his own per­sonal ben­e­fit,” the news re­lease said.

Leg­isla­tive au­di­tors found that Story made more than 14,000 il­le­gal ad­just­ments to fabri­cate rea­sons that fines, costs and fees col­lected were not en­tered into the sys­tem.

Story

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