Ex-LTVA director could face jail time | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ex-LTVA director could face jail time

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune
Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily TribuneFormer Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority Executive Director Terry LeBan appears in court on Tuesday.

Charged with taking tens of thousands of dollars from the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Terry Bell LeBan came to court late Tuesday and said she couldn’t afford an attorney.

LeBan, 52, appeared in a back brace before Judge Joseph P. Harvey in El Dorado County Superior Court. She was ordered to report to the public defender’s office and released on her own recognizance.

The former executive director is charged withtwo counts of embezzlement. She and former LTVA controller Debra Kirk, 49, allegedly used more than $70,000 of LTVA funds between February 2000 and November 2001.

If convicted, LeBan faces a maximum penalty of three years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines on each count. Her preliminary hearing is set for 8 a.m. June 13.

Kirk was killed in November in a Kingsbury Grade car crash that also injured LeBan. LeBan resigned from the agency a month later citing “physical and mental disabilities.”

A series of audits spanning six months allegedly linked the two Carson Valley women to forged checks, falsified payroll records and cash advances from LTVA credit cards at casinos in Stateline and Reno.

The audits ordered by the LTVA board of directors found $86,197 was misappropriated. Bank refunds and other credits reduced the loss to $73,786.

LeBan didn’t show up in court Tuesday morning after calling a clerk and explaining she was stuck in Jackson due to poor road conditions. The judge issued a $100,000 bench warrant to take effect May 30 but her appearance that afternoon canceled the warrant.

LeBan’s legal problems don’t end with the criminal case. The LTVA filed a civil suit against her May 15 in Douglas County.

— Staff writer William Ferchland contributed to this report. Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or at swood@tahoedailytribune.com.

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