For the first time since their arrest in December, two former business partners are serving time in separate correctional facilities.
According to Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant, Paul Anthony Lansford, 70, was transferred from the Erath County Jail to the Texas State Penitentiary at Hunstville on Sept. 18.
It is not clear if Lansford will remain in Huntsville or if he will be transferred to another unit to serve his sentence.
Meanwhile, Bryant said David Thomas Cheatham, 66, remains in the county jail awaiting transfer.
The men operated the accounting firm of Cheatham & Lansford, CPA in Stephenville prior to their arrests and are serving time for stealing millions of dollars from their clients.
According to the Texas State Historical Association, www.tshaonline.org, Huntsville Unit, also known as the "Walls Unit," was the state's first enclosed penitentiary.
While the duo delivered a financial blow to their victims, which included the James "Jim" T. Poston and Jimmy Gaylon Beyer families, as well as First Baptist Church of Stephenville and Pecan Valley MHMR, TSHA says the bill that established the state prison in March 1848 states "the new prison would be a place where inmates would be forced to abide by strict rules of behavior and discipline and would work so as not to be a burden on the state's taxpayers."
A textile mill, garment production warehouse and mechanical shop are located at the prison.
In addition to serving as a transfer point for inmates entering the TDCJ and those awaiting release from the prison system, Huntsville also houses the state's execution chamber.
According to the Web site for the TDCJ, www.tdcj.state.tx.us, Walls Unit, located near downtown Hunstville, lists a maximum capacity of 1,705 inmates and 465 employees as of July 31, 2009.
Cheatham, who was represented by Stephenville attorney Garry Lewellen, pleaded guilty to two first-degree felony theft charges and four third-degree theft charges, resulting in two separate 25-year sentences and four 10-year sentences, set to run concurrently.
Lansford, who was represented by Fort Worth attorney Tim Evans, pleaded guilty to the same six felony theft charges, received a lighter sentence - two 15-year sentences and four 10-year sentences - also set to run concurrently.
"By the terms of the agreements, Cheatham will be imprisoned or on parole until he is 91 years of age and Lansford until he is 84," District Attorney Jason Cashon said following the men's June 22 sentencing.