Former Snow College Official Pleads Guilty

Former Snow College Official Pleads Guilty

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A former Snow College South official accused of embezzling at least $194,000 for his own use has pleaded guilty to 36 felony counts of communications fraud.

In a plea bargain, Kimble Blackburn pleaded guilty Tuesday before 6th District Judge David Mower in Richfield to 30 second-degree felony counts and six third-degree felony counts, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

He also pleaded no contest to obstructing justice, a third-degree felony.

A sentencing hearing was set for July 15.

Sevier County Attorney Don Brown said he expects Kimball to serve time in jail.

Blackburn was charged March 21 after state auditors found checks that he had cashed but registered as "void" on official books.

The embezzlement went back to at least July 2000. Auditors are still checking records. They also said some bank statements were destroyed and that there were no financial controls at the campus.

Blackburn's attorney, Earl Xaiz of Salt Lake City, said after the hearing that his client denies destroying documents associated with the embezzlement.

Xaiz also said his client has $157,000 in a bank account to help pay restitution.

Blackburn was fired in December. He has been free on $25,000 bail.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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