Burlando Sentencing Thursday, Crowded Court Expected

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Raven Burlando, who pleaded guilty to theft and fraud May 30 for stealing $275,000 from the Central Arizona Board of Realtors, will be sentenced Thursday in Payson.

Burlando, who was in charge of CABR's finances as its executive officer before resigning last year amid theft allegations, is scheduled to appear at 3:30 p.m. before Gila County Superior Court Judge Robert Duber.

The court is bracing for a standing-room-only crowd, Gila County Attorney Jim Hazel said Monday. If the size of the audience is too large for the superior court courtroom, he said, the sentencing hearing will be moved across the street to a larger courtroom in the Gila County Sheriff's Department.

In a signed plea agreement, Burlando, who had worked for CABR for 15 years, admitted that she stole $275,000 from CABR accounts between January 1999 and December 1999. CABR President Jill Morgan discovered that money was missing from the organization's accounts in April 2000 after one of the organization's checks bounced.

A year-long police investigation revealed that more than a $275,000 had been siphoned out of the organization's bank accounts.

The Central Arizona Board of Realtors is an independent organization that serves local real estate agents.

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