Nebraska Woman in State Wards Theft Case Enters Plea

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A 70-year-old Bayard woman accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from state wards has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Judith Widener pleaded not guilty Friday in Scottsbluff County District Court. She remains free on $50,000 bond.

Widener, the president of the Safe Haven Inc., was arrested in November following a Nebraska State Auditor's report said she took over $35,000 intended for court-appointed wards for her personal use.

State Auditor Mike Foley says Widener masked her alleged embezzlement through a complex array of credit cards and dozens of bank accounts containing more than $600,000.