The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Plea Agreements Reached in Women's Resource Center Thefts

One Charge Dropped, No Jail Time Recommended by U.S. Attorney's Office

 


On Dec. 7, 2016, Toni Louise Plummer-Alvernaz pled not guilty to the charge of theft in excess of $5,000 and wire fraud. She also pled not guilty to theft from a non-profit receiving federal funding which put the case in federal court. These charges carried a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, a $250,000 fine, up to three years supervised release, and a $100 special assessment (See Non-Profit Director Accused of Theft, Wire Fraud on the cover of the Dec. 14 issue of the Courier).

According to documents filed in federal court in Great Falls on March 13, a plea agreement between Alvernaz and acting United States Attorney Lief Johnson was finalized. The documents state Alvernaz will plead guilty to the charge of theft in excess of $5,000 from a program receiving federal funding. The wire fraud charge will be dropped as well as the forfeiture allegation.

The crimes were committed while Alvernaz worked as the director of Montana Native Women’s Resource Coalition and the Montana Native Women’s Resource Center, non-profits dedicated to Native women victim advocacy in Glasgow.

In exchange for her plea of guilty, Alvernaz will no longer be subject to the forfeiture of her profits from the crime, but has agreed to pay full restitution. Though no amount was set in the agreement, it is likely she will pay back the total of the $160,000 she is thought to have profited. The document also suggests that the United States Attorney’s Office will not push for detention after a plea is entered, and that Alvernaz may be eligible to walk free under U.S. Law.

The agreement goes further to contain a “Non-Prosecution” paragraph in which the United States Attorney declines to prosecute, “Anthony Alvernaz, Lillian Alvernaz, or Randy Plummer for any fraud associated with the Women’s Resource Center or the Montana Native Women’s Coalition. None of the aforementioned were charged in relation to the case, and the plea agreement is the only indication they may have been aware of the crimes or that they had received ill-gotten goods.”

Brady Lynn Funk, of Billings, also reached a plea agreement in the case. She pled guilty to theft from a program receiving federal funding in exchange for paying $30,000 restitution and dropping the wire fraud charge and forfeiture. Funk will also not be recommended for detention, and the offenses will be reduced up to three levels in severity.

 

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