GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors say a former Texas police officer who became a bookkeeper for a seafood restaurant company must serve 20 years in prison for embezzling from the business.

Cassaundra Dawn Nichols was sentenced Tuesday in Galveston. Jurors convicted the 49-year-old Nichols of felony theft.

Investigators say Nichols — between 2009 and 2014 — stole more than $440,000 from Benno's Enterprises in Galveston and used the money for personal expenses, including paying her credit cards. Prosecutors say she stopped making the company's IRS tax payments, kept the cash and altered the books to hide the theft.

The Galveston County District Attorney's Office says Nichols, who was eligible for probation, formerly was a police officer in Friendswood, near Houston. Prosecutors say Nichols had a prior state jail felony deferred adjudication for child endangerment.


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