A judge tossed out a probation recommendation and sentenced a former Linn County official to prison for stealing thousands from the county coffers. In March, 42-year-old Michael Strope pleaded guilty to first-degree theft. He admitted using a home computer to create false invoices which he submitted to the county for payment. The false bills added up to over 180-thousand dollars. A sentencing report recommended probation for Strope, but the judge sentenced Strope to 10 years for theft and five years for falsifying records. Strope will also have to pay Linn County 20-thousand dollars.
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