Ex-Evansville housing exec gets 60 days for probation error

A former top executive at a southwestern Indiana nonprofit that provides housing for veterans and homeless families was sentenced to 60 days in jail Tuesday for violating her probation after pleading guilty to embezzling nearly $150,000 from the group.

Stephanie TenBarge, 74, had been executive director of Evansville-based ECHO Housing Corp., which receives much of its money to run housing programs from federal and state grants.

TenBarge begged U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young, of the Southern District of Indiana, to have mercy on her, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

“Please, please let me go home and give me a second chance,” she said. “I understand that I’ve made mistakes. I just ask that you be lenient and give me one last chance.”

Young admonished TenBarge for failing to “accept responsibility for this theft.”

“You’re asking for a second chance. I think we’re on our third at this point,” he said. “You’ve promised me things before, and I really don’t give much weight to those comments.”

TenBarge was sentenced last year to serve two years’ probation and was forced to pay back more than $90,000 in combined restitution to ECHO Housing and insurance companies.

But by December, prosecutors accused of TenBarge of violating the terms of her probation, court records said. Young sided with prosecutors last month.

Prosecutors accused TenBarge of misleading the court about her assets prior to her original sentencing, and said she hid financial transactions from her probation officer.

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