COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A former Colorado woman accused of pocketing more than $150,000 in government support for her adoptive sons without reporting the boys' disappearance years earlier has been sentenced to 42 years in prison.
The Gazette (http://bit.ly/GKzMpl ) reports District Judge Timothy J. Schutz sentenced former Monument-area resident Linda K. Bryant on Friday. Bryant, 55, pleaded guilty in January to four counts of theft, two counts of conspiracy to commit theft and 48 counts of attempting to influence a public servant.
Schutz said her crime threatened to erode public support for adoption programs that help the community's "most vulnerable citizens."
Bryant's estranged husband, Edward Bryant, 58, is scheduled to go on trial in April on similar charges.
Prosecutors say the Bryants' adoptive sons, Edward Dylan Bryant and Austin Eugene Bryant, had disappeared by 2003, when Austin would have been 7 and Edward 11, but the couple continued receiving welfare payments for the boys' support, even after moving to Texas around 2005.
An investigation into the boys' disappearance started about a year ago after former foster children of Linda Bryant's daughter approached authorities. They told authorities that they had uncovered contradictions in what they were told about why the boys were no longer with the Bryants.
Linda and Edward Bryant told investigators the boys ran away from home but gave conflicting answers as to when.
The boys' whereabouts are still unknown, and no criminal charges have been filed in connection with how they disappeared.
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