UPDATE: Schrenko released from federal prison

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Linda Schrenko was released from federal prison on Thursday. (WRDW-TV)
Linda Schrenko was released from federal prison on Thursday. (WRDW-TV)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- News 12 has learned a former state superintendent has been released from federal prison in Florida.

The Bureau of Prisons confirmed that Linda Schrenko was released from the federal prison in Coleman, Fla., and was released to home confinement. She is being monitored by the Atlanta Community Corrections Office along with the U.S. Probation Office.

Schrenko was sentenced in 2006 to eight years in prison after being convicted for her role in an embezzlement scheme. She pleaded guilty on May 10, 2006, to stealing public funds and laundering them into her failed gubernatorial campaign.

Timeline of the case:

  • 1994: Schrenko elected to two terms as Georgia State School Superintendent.
  • 2001: Schrenko starts running for governor.
  • June/July 2001 to 2002: Schrenko writes more than $600,000 in checks to companies owned by Stephan Botes; prosecutors say nothing was ever delivered for that money, and hundreds of thousands of dollars ended up in Schrenko's campaign.
  • August 2002: Schrenko loses to Sonny Perdue.
  • November 2003: News 12 investigates the $663,000 in spending.
  • November 2004: Schrenko, Merle Temple and Botes are indicted by a federal grand jury.
  • January 2005: Temple pleads guilty to three counts, one each of: conspiracy, theft and wire fraud.
  • May 1, 2006: Trial begins.
  • May 10, 2006: Schrenko pleads guilty to two counts: conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering; Merle Temple arrested, arraigned for obstruction of justice.
  • May 24, 2006: Botes found guilty on 15 counts and taken into custody; Peter Steyn found not guilty.
  • July 12, 2006: Schrenko sentenced to eight years in federal prison.
  • July 21, 2006: Miller Finley sentenced to three years of probation.
  • Aug. 24, 2006: Richard Leonard sentenced to one year of probation, fined $33,000.
  • Sept. 11, 2006: Schrenko reports to the Tallahassee Federal Women's Prison; Temple sentenced to eight years, one month in prison; Botes sentenced to eight years, one month in prison and charged $382,000 in restitution.
  • Sept. 20, 2006: Johnny Turner sentenced to three years of probation.
  • Nov. 14, 2006: Temple files a motion to delay his reporting to prison.
  • Nov. 17, 2006: Temple's delay motion is denied.
  • June 27, 2007: CallingPost Communications finishes paying a $50,000 settlement to the state of Georgia.
  • March 7, 2013: Schrenko is released from federal prison in Florida.

What happened to the key players?

  • Linda Schrenko was sentenced on July 12 to eight years in prison. She reported to Tallahassee Federal Women's Prison on Sept. 11.
  • Miller Finley was sentenced on July 21. He received 3 years of probation.
  • Richard Leonard was sentenced on Aug. 24 to one year of probation. He was also fined $33,000 for attempted witness tampering.
  • Merle Temple was set to be sentenced Aug. 10, but his sentence was postponed twice. He was finally sentenced on Sept. 11 to eight years and one month in prison.
  • Stephan Botes' sentencing was also Sept. 11, and he was also sentenced to eight years and one month. He is at a federal prison in southeastern Arizona, and his projected release date is June 2, 2013.
  • Johnny Turner was sentenced on Sept. 20 to 3 years of probation.

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