According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Missoula, Bozeman resident Ellen Lorraine Van Ausdol, who ran a money management service for court-appointed clients, was sentenced Friday to nine months in prison. She was found guilty of stealing her clients’ funds and spending the money on gambling, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Van Ausdol also received three years worth of supervised release at sentencing.

Chief U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen ordered the 78-year-old Van Ausdol to pay more than $186,000 in restitution.

“Ms. Van Ausdol’s actions were deplorable. Those who defraud and embezzle, and particularly those who exploit the vulnerable, can expect to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” U.S. Attorney Alme said.

Van Ausdol operated a business called Fiduciary Consulting and Management, which provided services for court-appointed clients, many of them had mental deficiencies and couldn't manage their own money.

Van Ausdol embezzled from her clients from about 2010 to 2016.

The prosecution said the embezzled funds totaled $253,528, bringing the total fraud loss to $306,422.

Information provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office contributed to this report.

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