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Former director pleads guilty to stealing money from park

Former director pleads guilty to stealing money from park

By Dennis Romboy | Posted - Nov. 17, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The former executive director of This Is The Place Heritage Park admitted to stealing park funds Wednesday in federal court.

Matthew Dahl, 41, pleaded guilty to one felony count of mail fraud. As part of the plea, he must pay back $321,608. Dahl will be sentenced Jan. 30. Mail fraud carries a term of up to 20 years in prison.

Defense attorney Greg Skordas said he expects the sentence to be substantially less than that due to Dahl's cooperation with federal prosecutors. Dahl has already paid back about half the money, he said. He also has no prior criminal record.

Dahl diverted This Is The Place Foundation money to his personal livestock operation to buy cattle and supplies from January 2007 to January 2011. The mail fraud charge stems from one transaction in November 2010. He admitted to sending a foundation check to Trevor Roche Company, a Parma, Idaho, cattle ranch, in the amount of $6,800.

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