While the futures of David Cheatham and Paul Lansford remain uncertain, it is likely the business partners will spend Christmas in jail.
Bond has been set for the duo, who are partners in Stephenville-based accounting firm Cheatham and Lansford, CPA, but the men are not expected to be released from the Erath County Jail anytime soon. Lansford is being held on a $425,000 bond, while Cheatham’s bond is set at $410,000.
Their attorney, Garry Lewellen, and District Attorney Jason Cashon said they believe the accountants will remain behind bars indefinitely.
The duo allegedly stole more than $3 million from two Erath County families, a church and a nonprofit organization.
They were indicted last week by an Erath County grand jury following a seven-month investigation conducted by the Texas Rangers, District Attorney’s Office and United States Secret Service.
Cashon said the trial is expected to get under way in 60 to 90 days. He also said the investigation remains ongoing and that more victims could surface.
“The possibility of more charges does exist,” Cashon said.
Meanwhile, attorneys on both sides agree that the victims will probably never see a penny of their stolen money.
“The results of the investigation indicate to me that there is a low probability that these victims will get their money back,” Cashon said.
Lewellen said in a press release Friday that repayment is his client’s “first priority,” but agreed with Cashon’s notion that the victims will likely never see their money.
Cashon said he knows where the stolen money went, but declined to release the information.