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Former festival chief pleads guilty to theft

ALBION – The former top organizer of Ligonier’s annual marshmallow festival has pleaded guilty to stealing from the event and her former employer.

The News-Sun reportrf ( ) prosecutors say 43-year-old Tamara Deel took about $15,000 from the Ligonier Marshmallow Festival Committee and more than $100,000 from her former employer, G & S Products Inc. Prosecutors alleged she used the money to buy appliances, Longaberger baskets and liquor.

Deel, 43, is the former chairwoman of the festival committee. She pleaded guilty Thursday in Noble County Court to theft and fraud on a financial institution.

If a judge accepts her plea agreement, Reel could be sentenced to one year in prison and five years of probation. She would also have to make restitution totaling $116,000.