Thursday, November 19, 2009
Marla Stevens Indicted
A federal grand jury in Des Moines, Iowa has returned a four-count indictment against Marla Stevens in connection with the embezzlement of nearly $6 million from Aviva by her spouse, Phyllis Stevens, a long-time employee of the company. The Des Moines Register reports that Marla has been charged with conspiracy to commit one count of money laundering and three counts of participating in financial transactions with money derived from a criminal transaction. The couple has been active in GLBT politics in Iowa and in Indiana where they lived until five years ago and have contributed more than $175,000 to political candidates, including at least $25,000 to U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D) and another $8,000 to his grandmother, the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson.
Phyllis Stevens has been jailed since she was picked up by FBI agents last month in Las Vegas. A federal judge has approved her release pending trial, but she has not yet filed the $75,000 cash bond required by the court. Phyllis fled to Las Vegas after her employer confronted her with the allegations and after she attempted unsuccessfully to withdraw $175,000 cash from the couple's joint account at National City Bank branches in Indianapolis. Marla Stevens had been living at the Bellagio Hotel for months where she reportedly ran up $2 million in charges.
UPDATE: Phyllis Stevens has been released from jail after posting a $75,000 cash bond. Marla Stevens was released without bail after entering a not guilty plea with a federal magistrate.