The former accounting director for the South Carolina Hospitality Association pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling nearly $500,000. Rachel Duncan pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion charges—both felonies—under an agreement with federal prosecutors.
Duncan is accused of taking more than $480,000 from the association and using the money for online gambling. Duncan worked closely with association director Tom Sponseller, who committed suicide in February. Duncan was mentioned in Sponseller's suicide note that said he was despondent over Duncan's financial crime because it happened on his watch.
Prosecutors say they found photos on Sponseller's computer that portrayed Duncan in a "sexual nature." The photos led them to believe that there was more to their relationship than suggested in Sponseller's suicide note.
When she is sentenced, Duncan faces up to 23 years in prison and $350,000 in fines. Duncan is out on $25,000 bond.