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Former employee pleads guilty to theft

A former employee of United Way of Greater Baytown Area & Chambers County has pleaded guilty to a charge of theft from a non-profit and was sentenced to three years probation with deferred adjudication.

Heidi Nicole Brown, 38, entered the plea Aug. 26 and was sentenced in the 184th Criminal District Court. Sentencing included a $200 fine, $212 in court costs and $1,200 in restitution, according to court records.

Brown was employed with United Way from late May through late July of 2013 before being dismissed.

In early August 2013, United Way discovered and reported losses to Baytown Police. The theft charge involved $1,128 in missing direct deposit payroll funds and $100 in gift cards from the United Way office.

"Attention to internal controls and safeguards is an on-going effort for United Way, as it should be for every business whether non-profit or for-profit," David Daspit, United Way board president. "This incident provided the opportunity for United Way-both immediately upon discovery of the losses, and during the last 12 months-to identify and to implement specific steps to address the particular vulnerability that was exposed, and make certain that other necessary controls are in place and adequate to protect United Way assets."

David Mohlman, United Way executive director, said he appreciates not only the support and expertise of the United Way board members with identifying and implementing lessons learned, but also the work by Baytown Police and the District Attorney's office on the case