published Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Region digest: 'Fraud conviction leads to prison' and more stories

KINGSTON, Tenn.

Fraud conviction leads to prison

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A Roane County woman was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Knoxville to 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to fraud and tax evasion, authorities said.

Jessica Potter Stafford, 34, of Kingston, was convicted on 10 counts of wire fraud and three counts of income tax evasion, according to a release from U.S. Attorney William C. Killian.

Her prison sentence will be followed by three years’ supervised release.

Stafford was director of administration for several businesses owned by Robert McManus. She was issued credit cards to be used for expenses relating to her duties, but she admitted using the cards to make more than $200,000 in personal charges, the release states.

Stafford then paid for the unauthorized charges with McManus’ money, the release said.


ATLANTA

Georgia a Top 5 state for films

Georgia is among the top five U.S. states for film and TV production with more than 274 projects shot in the state since July 2010.

Movies filmed in the state are premiering this summer and fall. They range from last weekend’s “X-Men: First Class” to October’s remake of “Footloose.” Other Georgia-based films coming out include “The Change-Up” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman and “Wanderlust” with Jennifer Anniston and Paul Rudd.

Also, TV shows including MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” the Discovery Channel’s “Auction Kings” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead” are filmed in Georgia.

The economic impact of the filming is estimated at $2.1 billion.

The state gives a tax break of 20 percent to many productions, with another 10 percent break to films and shows that feature a Georgia promotional logo.


FORT PAYNE, Ala.

Benefit set to help disaster fund

Teddy Gentry’s “Best New Nashville” contingent of musicians will perform two shows Saturday to benefit the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Reserve Disaster Relief Fund, organizers said.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Stanna Guice said in a release there will be two performances, at 7 and 9 p.m. CDT, at Fort Payne City Hall Auditorium.

Performers include Samantha Landrum, Laura Fedor, Dillon Dixon, Chanel Campbell, 3 Lanes Crossing, Jimmy Stewart, Brad Long, Chip Davis, Amber Shalene, Garrett Steele, Southwind and Adrianna Freeman.

“Admission is free and the shows are appropriate for all ages,” Guice said.

Any donations will be given to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Relief Fund.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn.

Child care center burns; no one hurt

Fire erupted at a Murfreesboro child care center Monday, but the children and their caretakers escaped unharmed.

Eight children were at the Shining Stars daycare center when the fire broke out, according to WTVF-TV in Nashville. The ages of the children weren’t immediately available.

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