ASHLAND A former office manager at the Boyd County Child Support Enforcement Office convicted of embezzling more than $126,000 from the office will spend three years in federal prison, according to authorities.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Kentucky confirmed Wednesday Mary E. Pickett was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison.

Pickett pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in September 2020.

According to her plea agreement, while she was the office manager, she submitted false payroll documents showing one employee clocked 40 hours of week when they only worked for 14 hours. During this time, Pickett wrote checks out to herself without authorization.

Originally charged in state court with stealing $113,000 from the office, Pickett saw her case kicked to the federal system in 2020 due to the fact the office receives federal funds.

Pickett could have faced up to 20 years in prison for the convictions.

Pickett has by Feb. 22 to report to the United States Bureau of Prisons, per a judge’s order. U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning has recommended she be held at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington.

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