Woman sentenced to 2 years, 8 months in embezzlement from western Pennsylvania drilling firm

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PITTSBURGH — A former controller for a western Pennsylvania drilling company has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for her role in a $10 million embezzlement scheme.

Prosecutors said 45-year-old Cheryl Brooks of Clymer stole about $557,000 from Falcon Drilling Co. and helped former chief operating officer Larry Winckler steal more than $9 million.

Brooks pleaded guilty in 2013 to conspiracy, mail fraud and income tax charges. She apologized Wednesday and said she turned herself in and cooperated with authorities out of remorse. Prosecutors said she only did that because she was about to be caught.

Defense attorney Patrick Nightingale said that his client may have played a central role in the embezzlement but she was ensnared in a scheme masterminded by Winckler. He's serving an eight-year term.

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