A Gering woman accused of stealing $250,000 from her 84 year old grandfather and also scamming her music students and their parents out of thousands of dollars for a Disney World trip that was never booked entered no contest and guilty pleas Wednesday to eight charges in the two cases.
34-year-old Stacia Keener entered a no contest plea to a felony theft by deception charge in her grandfather’s case and then guilty pleas to two felony theft charges and five misdemeanor attempted theft counts related to the fraud involving her Scottsbluff music studio.
In her grandfather’s case two counts of second degree forgery were dismissed against Keener while in the case concerning the music students five felonies were reduced to misdemeanors.
Keener could receive up to twenty years in prison for each of the three felonies. The prosecution indicated Wednesday they will recommend a total prison sentence of four to eight years. But Judge Leo Dobrovolny reminded Keener she could get much more than that based on the maximum penalties and that he is not tied to the prosecution’s recommendation when he sentences her September 15th.
There is no restitution recommended in the grandfather’s case, but almost $30,000 restitution is recommended to the seven families who lost money on the fake Disney World trip.
The theft involving Keener’s grandfather involved a period of two and a half years where Keener forged transfers from the victim’s retirement accounts and also falsely claimed she needed money to pay off an IRS debt.
The victim also said that in October of 2015, Keener brought him to the bank under the presumption that he was going to be a co-signer for a $33,000 loan. He later learned that he was not a co-signer, but rather the primary borrower.
The thefts concerning the music student families occurred over a year’s time from April 2016 to April of this year.
Ironically, after interviews with family members regarding the other case , it was revealed that Stacia and her family had taken several vacations to Hawaii, Disney Land, Disney World, and a two-and-a-half week trip to Europe. Court documents say that Stacia told her family that she was working for a company in Georgia setting up conferences and the company was compensating her with paid vacations.