"I think the amount of money came as much as a surprise to Ms. Starks as it did to anyone else," her lawyer, Bill Murray, said Tuesday.
Starks admitted that she did not report the embezzled funds on her income tax forms. Her guilty plea centered around one instance in 2008, when she reported to the government that she earned only $13,872.
Copenhaver ordered Starks to repay Multifest the full $306,872 in restitution along with the $128,626 to the IRS. She paid $4,368 of that restitution Tuesday. The judge also ordered Starks to repay the restitution in monthly installments of $250 when she is released from prison. She is currently collecting unemployment benefits, she said.
After initially vowing to pull funding from Multifest, Charleston and Kanawha County officials said they would continue to support the event as long as the Starks are not involved.
The Multifest board of directors fired Steven Starks from his position as president after he told media outlets that he would continue work on the festival <co please embed http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201301210177>.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said that, in addition to Deborah and Steven Starks' complete removal, city and county officials have insisted that the board hire an accountant to monitor the books.
"It's just an absolute criminal offense and an inexcusable crime to steal," Carper said. "Having said that this is a good lesson to be learned about the lack of vigilance and oversight of nonprofits."
Reach Zac Taylor at zachary.tay...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.