Former city employee accused of embezzling over $1 million has status hearing today

Diane Maxine Richards plead guilty to four counts of Class 2 Felony Theft.

Diane Maxine Richards plead guilty to four counts of Class 2 Felony Theft.

KINGMAN – Diane Maxine Richards, the former City of Kingman employee who embezzled more than $1 million, is set for a status conference at 2 p.m. today in Mohave County Superior Courtroom B.

Judge Billy Sipe completed a settlement conference on May 19 in which both parties discussed the strength of their case and possible sentencing ranges should Richards go to trial and be found guilty of the charges against her.

Richards was also advised of the range of penalties should she accept a plea offer. The settlement conference provided Richards with enough information to help her make a decision on resolving the case.

Richards, former budget analyst and interim finance director for Kingman, is charged with embezzling about $1.1 million from the employee benefits fund through the city’s credit card account.

She was arrested in 2015 and charged with 23 felony counts of theft, forgery and misuse of public funds.

Investigators found that Richards had misused the credit card to pay personal expenses from 2008 to 2015, including her cell phone, utility and car insurance payments. It was also used to pay off cash advances at various Laughlin casinos.

She allegedly submitted falsified invoices to account for the charges.

She has been free on her own recognizance as the case is processed through the court.