- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - A bookkeeper has been sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for stealing more than $100,000 from a Phoenix healthcare provider and a Scottsdale church.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced Friday that Nelda Jean Nicholson was sentenced after pleading guilty last month to two counts each of theft and fraudulent schemes and she must pay full restitution.

Nicholson was arrested in January.

Prosecutors say Nicholson wrote 124 unauthorized checks to herself between December 2009 and October 2012 while working as chief financial officer for Visions of Hope, which provides mental health services.

They say she wrote more fraudulent checks while working as a bookkeeper for Resurrection Lutheran Church between October 2013 and June 2014.

The fraud cost the church about $18,000 while the health-care provider lost more than $98,000.

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