Friday, January 21, 2011

Phyllis And Marla Stevens Get Jail Time For Aviva Fraud

Phyllis Stevens received a 6-year prison sentence for her role in embezzling nearly $6 million from her former employer, Aviva, while her same-sex partner, Marla Stevens, received a 3-year prison sentence for her role in spending the cash haul according to the Des Moines Register. “When you steal $6 million, you are going to jail and going to go for a long time,” U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Longstaff said. “I stand before you a guilty woman,” Marla Stevens said in her statement. “It sickens me to know that I have hurt Aviva and apologize to Aviva and all they serve.” Phyllis had argued it was her alter ego who did the stealing, not her, due to a dissociative disorder she claimed to suffer, a claim not bought by the judge. Both Phyllis and Marla are former Indianapolis residents who were active in GLBT causes. Marla lobbied state lawmakers for a number of years advocating on behalf of the GLBT community before the couple moved to Iowa after Phyllis' former employer, Indianapolis Life Insurance Co. was acquired by Aviva. Marla and Phyllis made generous campaign contributions to various Democratic candidates with the money they stole from Aviva. U.S. Rep. Andre Carson was one of the largest recipients of those contributions.

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