Source AP ©

Former official at Eisenhower-founced charity gets 20-month prison term for theft

A Kansas man who admitted stealing from a charity founded by President Dwight Eisenhower has been sentenced to 20 months in federal prison.

David Schlotzhauer also was ordered Thursday to pay $128,144 (euro 95,083) in restitution to People to People International under the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple.

Schlotzhauer embezzled the money while serving as financial director of the organization, founded by Eisenhower in 1956 to promote peace and understanding through international exchanges and activities. It has been headquartered in Kansas City since 1961.

Prosecutors contended that from May 2001 to May 2003, Schlotzhauer stole more than $140,000 (euro 103,880) from the organization's checking account and charged items for himself on its credit card.

Schlotzhauer pleaded guilty in February 2006 but contended the amount taken was much lower. After hearing more arguments on the question Thursday, Whipple ruled that the thefts amounted to $148,144 (euro 109,924).

Among the allegations of misappropriation were checks written to pay taxes on Schlotzhauer's Johnson County home and money paid to a law firm that represented him in a personal matter.

Investigators also found that People to People's credit card was used for golf equipment, ski lessons and lift tickets and a youth sports camp sponsored by a university.

Schlotzhauer argued that some of the money could be categorized as loans approved by the charity's leader, Mary Eisenhower, the former president's granddaughter.

Eisenhower testified that she never approved loans to Schlotzhauer.

"We do not have a company policy on loans to employees, because we don't loan employees money," she said.

Eisenhower said she became suspicious of Schlotzhauer in 2003. She fired him and called in auditors after finding that he had written an $18,125 (euro 13,449) check to his wife.

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