Crime & Courts

Man who posed as veterinarian is sentenced

Sedgwick County courtroom
Sedgwick County courtroom File photo

A man who posed as a veterinarian and stole thousands of dollars was granted probation for his crimes Friday.

Danny Thomas, 49, of Wichita, also was ordered to pay $6,552.69 in restitution to his victims, as well as $29,347 to the Kansas Department of Labor for receiving undue unemployment benefits, the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Prosecutors say Thomas created a fake persona, Chase McKnight, and passed forged checks to buy equipment for a pet-care facility called Chase Equine Care that didn’t exist.

Thomas, who was formally charged in January, pleaded guilty to five counts of forgery, three counts of identity theft, one count of felony theft and two counts of misdemeanor theft. In exchange for his plea, District Attorney Marc Bennett agreed to not file fraud charges against Thomas for the stolen unemployment benefits, the news release said.

District Judge Jeffrey Syrios ordered Thomas to serve five years of probation. He could be imprisoned for 54 months if he violates the terms of his probation, the district attorney’s office said.

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker