LEXINGTON -- A former executive at an oil and natural gas company in Kentucky has been sentenced to five years and five months in federal prison for embezzlement.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Franklin Fletcher was sentenced to prison Monday for stealing more than $374,000 from NYTIS Exploration between 2012 and 2018. Fletcher abused the company's payroll system by writing checks to his wife without her knowledge and altering them in the company's system to appear as checks to customers and clients. He would then forge his wife's name and cash the checks.

Fletcher used about $70,000 to repay thefts from his previous employer, Booth Energy, an Eastern Kentucky coal company. The company learned Fletcher was getting paid despite being fired; He agreed to repay most of the checks, which totaled about $988,000.

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