Former Greenville resident Kathy Dowden Wilson used many names and, prosecutors claimed, stole tens of thousands of dollars from her victims in Hunt County.

Wilson’s alleged criminal career came to an end Wednesday, after she pleaded guilty to almost two dozen felony indictments. Wilson had been charged in connection with what authorities said was a scheme to swindle funds from the elderly and invalid patients she housed in several allegedly unlicensed businesses. Wilson is also accused of failing to pay the employees who worked for her in the enterprises.

Wilson waived jury trials and entered guilty pleas in the 196th District Court to eight counts of failure to pay employee wages, six counts of felony theft, eight counts of bail jumping/failure to appear and one count of misapplication of fiduciary property.

Wilson was sentenced to 12 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for each of the bail jumping charges and two years in a state jail on each of the theft charges. Wilson was placed on 10 years of deferred adjudication probation on each of the remaining nine charges and was ordered to pay $71,029.42 in restitution.

Hunt County District Attorney F. Duncan Thomas said the probation won’t kick in until after Wilson is released from prison.

“We are very happy that Ms. Wilson has to go to prison and serve time, and then when she gets out she will still have to pay restitution to her victims,” Thomas said. “Hopefully, she will learn her lesson and her victims will be compensated.”

Jail records indicate Wilson also used the aliases of Kathy Ingram, Kathy McCord, Kathy Stine, Kathy Bain, Kathy Dowden and Kathy Norris.

Wilson was alleged by prosecutors to have operated as many as 15 local businesses at various times and under different names, all of which offered care for elderly and invalid patients.

The Texas Department of Health Services shut down one of her operations, in the 4400 block of Wesley Street, in June, 2003 after discovering Wilson did not have a license to run a home care business and after discovering problems with the facility.

Then-Hunt County Attorney Keith Willeford said he began investigating Wilson after at least seven of her employees began filing complaints that they had not been paid between December, 2002 and May, 2003. Willeford said he discovered Wilson had several prior misdemeanor and felony convictions on her record for the same type of offense.

Thomas’ office also investigated and alleged Wilson had illegally obtained more than $65,000 from patients under her care, offering to invest the money for them but instead keeping the funds for herself.

Wilson was indicted in July, 2003 on the felony theft, failure to pay employee wages and misapplication of fiduciary property charges, but failed to appear for her arraignment hearing in August of that year.

In June, the Hunt County grand jury added the bail jumping counts and Wilson was returned to the Hunt County Jail on July 26.

Wilson has already been found guilty in a misdemeanor case. Wilson found guilty in the Hunt County Court-at-Law Nov. 20 of theft by check, was ordered to pay court costs of $451 and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

All of the sentences are scheduled to run concurrently, with the exception of the probations.

Wilson is not eligible for parole on the theft charges and would become eligible for parole on the bail jumping cases when her flat time and good time equals one-fourth of her sentence. Bail jumping typically carries a maximum sentence upon conviction of up to 10 years in prison. However, as Wilson had previously been convicted of a felony, the maximum punishment upon conviction in the cases increases to 20 years.

Once she is released from custody, Thomas said Wilson will be required to report to the Hunt County Community Supervision Department to begin her deferred probation.

Deferred adjudication carries no finding of guilt, although if Wilson is found to have violated any of the deferred probations, she would be subject to being sentenced to the maximum punishment of 20 years in prison for any of the second degree felony charges.

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