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Ex-State Fair finance director pleads no contest to theft

August 25, 2021 GMT

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — The former finance director of the Nebraska State Fair has pleaded no contest to three counts of felony theft of money from the fair.

Patrick Kopke, 30, pleaded Tuesday and faces up to 20 years in prison on each charge when he is sentenced in October, The Lincoln Journal-World reported.

A state audit found that a company Kopke created was paid nearly $150,000 in state funds but there was no proof the company had done any work for the fair.

Auditors said Kopke used bank accounts connected to the company to pay for more than $100,000 in personal expenses.