A Gretna woman has pleaded guilty to three counts of tax evasion in connection with $4.1 million she admitted stealing from an Omaha tobacco and candy distributor.
Caroline K. Richardson, 54, will be sentenced in December. She faces up to five years in prison.
In return for her pleas, Sarpy County prosecutors dropped three counts of filing a false income tax return.
The World-Herald first reported on Richardson's case in April. Court documents indicated she admitted to taking $4.1 million over the 2˝ years she worked as an accountant for Colombo Candy & Tobacco, a distributor.
Instead of going after Richardson, Colombo and owner Monte Brown sued Ameristar Casino. They said the casino should have known that Richardson was making huge wagers with ill-gotten money. The casino is fighting that lawsuit in federal court.
Colombo also sued Richardson's former boss — saying the boss recommended that Colombo hire Richardson despite her alleged history of theft. Richardson's former boss denied any knowledge of theft by Richardson at her prior company.
Richardson also admitted to stealing $110,000 from a La Vista business in 2009. However, Sarpy County sheriff's investigators never referred that case for prosecution, and Richardson subsequently became an accountant at Colombo.
A decision on whether to prosecute Richardson for the Colombo embezzlement has not been made, said Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov and Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.
Polikov said the plea bargain over the tax-evasion charges doesn't preclude authorities from prosecuting Richardson for the theft from Colombo.