"Her actions sent my husband, Tom Sponseller, to the grave" - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

"Her actions sent my husband, Tom Sponseller, to the grave"

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Tom Sponseller and Rachel Duncan stand together during the production of a commercial for Carolina Care Plan. Tom Sponseller and Rachel Duncan stand together during the production of a commercial for Carolina Care Plan.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

In a letter written to Judge Joe Anderson, the widow of former South Carolina Hospitality Association executive director Tom Sponseller says Rachel Duncan's actions led to his suicide.

Meg Sponseller mailed the letter dated May 18, 2012 to the federal judge who was to decide how long the former accounting director will spend in prison after admitting to stealing almost $500k from the association.

"Please do not lose sight of the crimes Rachel Duncan committed," wrote Sponseller. "In my mind and in the mind of many others, her actions sent my husband, Tom Sponseller, to his grave. If she was not a thief...Tom would be alive."

Sponseller explains to the judge she, her children, her grandchildren, colleagues and friends are "devastated, as Tom was at the time of his death."

Duncan pleaded guilty in April to wire fraud and tax evasion charges under an agreement with federal prosecutors. Both are felonies. Duncan is accused of taking more than $480,000 from the association and using the money for online gambling.

The missing money came to light after Sponseller went missing in February. He was later found dead in a locked closet in a parking garage near the association's offices.

"If she receives lessor time because of her 'cooperation' with online gambling, how sad for our system," wrote Sponseller.

Anderson sentenced Duncan to 30 months in prison and $452,842 in restitution.

She faced up to 23 years in prison and $350,000 in fines.

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