Former Anchor to be Sentenced in Fraud Scheme

Former WTKR (Norfolk) Anchor Juliet Bickford is expected to be sentenced to probation for her part in a million-dollar international fraud scheme.

Bickford, the former 4 p.m. anchor for WTKR, is due in U.S. District Court on Tuesday morning to be sentenced for her guilty plea to filing the false tax return.

The U.S. Attorney's Office filed a position paper on sentencing this week that recommends Bickford get probation and a minimum of 500 hours of community service and be ordered to pay restitution.

In those papers, prosecutors say that since her arrest and guilty plea in January, Bickford has cooperated with authorities in their investigation into the fraud scheme, but they're not sure she has been completely upfront.

Bickford has maintained to the authorities that she had no knowledge of her now ex-boyfriend Theodoros Grontis' connection to the scheme.

Grontis has been on the lam ever since federal agents questioned Bickford in September 2011. He is believed to be hiding in Greece.

Prosecutors alleged that even after being questioned by federal agents in September 2011, Bickford filed a phony tax return that hid the money she was using to live a lavish lifestyle, according to court papers filed this week.

Grontis funneled more than $500,000 from the scheme through Bickford's bank account, authorities said. Bickford was not charged in connection with the fraud or receiving its proceeds.

"Her claimed belief that Grontis and the money he provided were truly legitimate cannot be fully confirmed or dispelled," prosecutors wrote.

H/T Virginian-Pilot