A Royston woman who was accused of bilking 68 co-workers out of their money will spend the next five years in prison.
Reports indicate that 41-year old April Constance Jennipher Arter has pleaded guilty to 25 counts of misdemeanor theft by deception and one felony count of theft by taking. Arter went before a Superior Court judge Tuesday in Hart County.
Arter was also sentenced to 15 years probation and must make full restitution to the people she bilked.
In January, Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland said Arter lied to coworkers about having family problems and played on their sympathies to get money.
“She told coworkers her daughter had died in California and her grandchildren were coming to live with her,” Cleveland said. “She scammed at least 68 folks.”
According to Cleveland, the 68 charges are all misdemeanors because the amount of money she allegedly took from each individual was under $1,500. He says that Arter bilked co-workers out of more than $5,000.
Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Parks White negotiated with Arter and had the charges reduced to 25 misdemeanor counts and one felony count.
Cleveland said his investigators were made aware of the alleged fraud when one of Arter’s coworkers found out the story about her daughter was not true. One victim, who asked not to be identified, said Arter also allegedly told her that she had several types of cancer.
Meanwhile, Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas said Arter is also well known to authorities in Franklin County and is also wanted there on felony charges where she allegedly tried to scam a church. According to Thomas, Franklin County has three warrants on Arter, two of which are felonies. Thomas said in addition to allegedly scamming a church, Arter allegedly approached people and told them family members were either dead or sick in order to obtain money.