TOPEKA | A St. Marys man has pleaded guilty to stealing more than a half-million dollars from his mother's trust fund.
U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said in a news release that 52-year-old Kent Joseph Gockel pleaded guilty Monday to 11 counts of bank fraud.
Gockel's father had established two living trusts for his wife and children before his death in 2002.
Prosecutors say that Gockel nearly emptied the accounts without his mother's knowledge by writing checks to himself or wiring money to other accounts. Gockel stole a total of $584,688.
He will be sentenced Aug. 16. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years and a fine up to $1 million on each count.