Ex-State Fair finance head gets jail, probation for theft, Neb. Attorney General’s Office intends to appeal sentence

Ex-State Fair finance head gets jail, probation for theft, Neb. Attorney General’s Office intends to appeal sentence
RRN/Nebraska State Fair.
October 22nd, 2021 | Associated Press


Grand Island, Neb. — The former finance director of the Nebraska State Fair has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and 15 years’ probation for stealing more than $100,000 from the fair. Television station KSNB reports that 30-year-old Patrick Kopke received the sentence Friday and was ordered to pay restitution of more than $158,000 to the State Fair. He was also ordered to undergo counseling for a gambling addiction. Kopke pleaded no contest in August to three counts of felony theft. He was charged after a state audit showed a company he created had been paid nearly $150,000 from state funds but did not perform any work for the fair. The auditors said Kopke used bank accounts from the company to pay more than $100,000 in personal expenses.


Attorney General’s Office Response to Kopke Sentence:

The Attorney General‘s Office is disappointed with the sentence issued today in the case of Patrick Kopke. We intend to appeal the matter. Mr. Kopke was put in a position of public trust. He violated that trust and pled to a felony. The State asked the court for a five to ten-year prison sentence. We believe the sentence issued of 30 days in jail, 15 years of probation, and restitution is inadequate.  His felony act involved embezzling over $150,000 from the State Fair Board.

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