Friday, October 30, 2009
Marla Stevens Lived At Bellagio For Months
There are more strange details emerging in the $5.9 million embezzlement case of Phyllis and Marla Stevens. According to a WHO-TV report out of Des Moines, Phyllis Stevens fled to Las Vegas to join her spouse, Marla Stevens, after her employer confronted her with the embezzlement allegations after a quick flight down to Indianapolis, where she attempted to withdraw as much as $170,000 from a joint bank account held with Marla Stevens. After arriving in Las Vegas, Phyllis again tried to withdraw large sums of money from the couple's account before FBI agents apprehended her.
WHO-TV reports that Marla Stevens had been living in one of Las Vegas' swankiest hotels, the Bellagio, for months. Earlier reports suggested Marla had been living at the couple's Florida home at the time of Phyllis' arrest, one of five the couple was thought to own. Apparently, Marla went on a spending spree with an American Express account at the hotel spent primarily on lodging and room service at the exclusive hotel and casino. About $2 million of Aviva's money landed in that account according to investigators. The couple was kind enough to pay about $900,000 of the money to the IRS according to the report.
Marla Stevens left a federal courthouse this week on a motorized scooter with a smile on her face. She was happy because a federal judge agreed to release her partner, Phyllis, prior to her criminal trial. Phyllis must wear a GPS and electronic monitor, abide by a curfew and her travel is restricted to Polk County, Iowa. There were new allegations of wrongdoing against Marla as well in the WHO-TV report. Marla Stevens tried to obtain fake documents from the couple's long-time friends, Ed and Lynn Fallon, who planned to move into one of their homes in Des Moines according to prosecutors. The Fallons were shocked by the request and turned down Marla's request. Phyllis' lawyer, William Kutmus, joked with reporters outside the courtroom about this being a "very unusual" case.
Only Phyllis has been charged with criminal wrongdoing to date, although Marla has been named as a co-defendant in Aviva's civil lawsuit to recover the stolen money. The report says prosecutors haven't ruled out the possibility that Phyllis may have embezzled money from Indianapolis Life Insurance, the company that employed Phyllis at the time Aviva acquired it in 2004. Phyllis transferred to the Des Moines office after that acquisition. That is when she allegedly began stealing close to $6 million over a 5-year period from the company.
During the past several years, the couple has doled out about $175,000 to liberal Democratic candidates, including $25,000 to U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, who received more money from the couple than any other individual contributors. A Carson spokesperson claims he barely knew who the couple was; however, those familiar with the local political scene know that Marla acted as a hatchet woman for the Carson political machine, spreading defamatory information about his and his grandmother's political opponents.
You just can't make up shit this good. I'll have to hand it to Marla for living out her fantasies to the fullest.