Franklin County, Ala. -- A judge sentenced former Franklin County Administrator, Crista Madden, to two 20-year sentences for violating the Alabama ethics law for an unlawful gain of $753,889 in county funds.

Madden pleaded guilty in March in two counts of felony ethics violations: misuse of her official position for personal gain and use of public equipment for personal gain. According to court records, Madden deposited $753,899 of county funds into her personal account between 2007 and 2017.

Madden generated checks to false vendors and placed tape with the name of the vendor on the payee line beginning in December 2007, officials said. Madden would then make a copy, remove the tape, and put her name on the payee line.

The Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts discovered the misuse of funds in an audit. Madden confessed to both offenses after being confronted by Special Agents.

Madden embezzled funds until her departure from the position in July of 2017.

“The sentence imposed on Crista Madden of many years in prison properly reflects the importance of deterring public employees from exploiting their offices for personal gain,” said Attorney General Marshall.”

In addition to the two prison terms, Madden will also be forced to pay restitution of the funds taken from Franklin County.