FORT WORTH, Texas – A former bookkeeper for the Stockyards Northside Rodeo has been sentenced to prison for stealing $1.3 million from the rodeo over three years.
According to the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office, D’ann Elizabeth Wagner was given a 15-year sentence after pleading guilty to theft of property over $200,000.
Wagner reportedly used the stolen money to go on vacations, gamble at WinStar Casino, and buy two Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
The Stockyards Championship Rodeo is a popular stop for tourists looking for the Texas experience. Tickets are $25 apiece. And for three years, authorities say Wagner was keeping all of the money from online sales for herself.
Tarrant County Assistant DA Brooke Panuthos specializes in embezzlement and fraud cases. She says the theft happened over the course of three years from January 2014 to March 2017.
Investigators discovered Wagner had set up a Paypal account on the rodeo’s website. But she had linked her own personal informational and used a debit card from Paypal to spend the money on herself.
“She was the exclusive account holder. It had her name, her date of birth and her social security number,” Panuthos said. “In order for it to be a first-degree felony, the threshold would be over $200,000. So you can image $1.3 million is six times that minimum threshold amount. So pretty significant.”