Crime & Courts

April 11, 2013

Former head of Great Bend Honor Flights bound over for trial

A Great Bend woman charged with stealing more than $100,000 from an organization that flew World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., has been bound over for trial.

A Great Bend woman charged with stealing more than $100,000 from an organization that flew World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., has been bound over for trial.

Barton County Magistrate Judge Don Alvord ordered LaVeta Miller to stand trial on two felony counts of theft by deception after her preliminary hearing wrapped up Wednesday.

She was arraigned immediately and entered not guilty pleas on both counts, Barton County Attorney Doug Matthews said.

A date for a jury trial will be set within 180 days, Matthews said.

Miller, former head of Great Bend-based Central Prairie Honor Flights program, was arrested in October on the two felony counts of theft by deception. One count was for the period of March 1, 2009, through June 30, 2011, and the second count covered July 1, 2011, through July 31, 2012.

Central Prairie Honor Flights was disbanded about the time Miller was fired July 1 by Central Prairie Resource and Development district, a nonprofit that had Honor Flights as one of its community projects. The program raised nearly $1.2 million to take 1,100 World War II vets to Washington to see the memorials from 2008 through 2011.

Miller canceled two Honor Flights in June 2012 because she said there was a shortage of funds.

Central Prairie Honor Flights was kicked out of the Ohio-based National Honor Flight Network in April 2012 because of various issues, including poor bookkeeping, according to Honor Flight officials.

Hutchinson-based Kansas Honor Flight formed in May 2012 and was recognized by the national group as a hub for flights out of Kansas. It conducted three flights in 2012 and has more scheduled for this year.

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