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6:51 AM Wed, Nov. 21st

Former Kingman employee accused of embezzling back in court

Diane Maxine Richards

Diane Maxine Richards

KINGMAN – Diane Maxine Richards, accused of embezzling more than $1 million from a City of Kingman employee benefits account, will see another day in court.

“Since the last time we met, we’ve received several hundred pages of discovery,” said her attorney, Adam Zickerman, during a brief appearance in front of Judge Billy Sipe at Mohave County Superior Court Monday morning.

Assistant Attorney General Joseph Waters said via teleconference that he’s received subpoenas that were requested by the state. Information on those subpoenas was not available.

“That’s good news,” Sipe said. “Hopefully this case can start moving along at a slightly greater pace than it has.”

Richards’ next appearance in court is for another status conference at 10 a.m. Jan. 30.

According to a November statement from Mia Garcia, spokeswoman for the Arizona Attorney General’s office, Richards allegedly stole the money by misusing her position as the account’s security manager. She altered the access settings to give herself “sole authority to both initiate and approve transactions,” Garcia said.

Richards is alleged to have transferred money out of the account to pay off personal lines of credit and used other monies to pay hefty portions cash advances taken out at Laughlin casinos. She also allegedly misused a city of Kingman credit card for personal cell phone, utility and car insurance bills.

This is the largest known embezzlement in Kingman history. The amount of money allegedly taken and Richards’ position as a public servant (she was the interim finance director and budget analyst) are two aggravating factors against her.