Iowan to Use Insanity Defense in Insurer Embezzlement Case

July 29, 2010

A woman accused of embezzling nearly $6 million from West Des Moines, Iowa, insurer Aviva USA will use an insanity defense.

Phyllis Stevens’ attorney, William Kutmus, gave notice in court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Des Moines.

Stevens is charged in a 20-count indictment with fraud, money laundering and other charges. A judge ruled earlier this month that Stevens was competent to stand trial.

Her partner, Marla Stevens, is also charged in the case. Marla Stevens’ attorney, Trever Hook, has asked that she be tried separately.

Lawyers for both women have sought a delay in the Aug. 16 trial to permit Marla Stevens to recover from cancer surgery and treatment.

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