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TAAC board member charged with theft of art funds receives deferred sentence

by Bill Knowles
TRINIDAD — Bree Anne Wetherhold-Pappan, former director of the Trinidad Area Arts Council (TAAC) who was charged with theft of the organization’s funds last year has received a deferred sentence of four years.
Included in the court’s ruling, she will also have to complete 24 hours of useful public service along with paying all court costs and fines assessed by the court. She will also receive restitution from missed wages totaling $5,072 minus $2,400 that will cover the probation supervision fee.
Pappan had been charged with a felony theft of $2,000 to $5,000, a class one misdemeanor, unauthorized financial transaction, unauthorized use of funds greater than $750, and an unauthorized transaction and use of funds greater than $300.
Both the felony and the unauthorized transaction and use of funds greater than $300 were dismissed by the DA, leaving her to face the class-one misdemeanor.
The fines and assessed costs total $5,455.50 will cover everything from a victims assistance fund to restitution.
Pappan will have to comply with all the terms and conditions of a four-year deferred judgment and sentence.
The case stems from alleged theft found following an audit of banking statements and credit card statements by the President of TAAC, Mallory Pillard in December 2016.
Pappan’s alleged criminal activity began on Nov. 1, 2015 and continued until Oct. 31, 2016 during the time Pappan was director of the organization.
According to police documents “Pappan maintained physical control over both the credit card and checkbook with the only exception being that the defendant’s (TAAC) payroll checks were written and signed by Pillard.  All other transactions were conducted by Pappan.”
Police investigation showed that during an interview with Pappan, she indicated to the police that her wages were paid intermittently.