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Rip Off A MUD? No Probation For You!!

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They wanted probation. Is that too much to ask?

Yup.

Steve Strange and Robert Carlile thought they had a nice scam going -- they were on the board of directors of a Municipal Utility District northwest of town, and who the hell pays any attention to what MUD directors do?

So they used their district credit cards to buy personal furniture, building materials and other stuff -- for five years. (That is some strenuous bookkeeping being done up there in the Northwest Harris County MUD 16.)

All told, more than $100,000 was charged to the credit cards.

The pair pled guilty to theft by a public servant this summer, and asked for probation.

Today Judge Joan Campbell gave them four years in prison.

"The evidence supported the court's decision," says the prosecutor Carvana Cloud, who has a name that comes thisclose to sounding like a Bond girl. "The court sent a clear message that the citizens of Harris County will not tolerate theft and deception at their expense."

Enjoy the prison time, boys.

-- Richard Connelly

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