Texas Trainer Lauren Stone Nabbed for Alleged Theft

Texas Trainer Lauren Stone Nabbed for Alleged Theft

Convicted Criminal

A Texas horse trainer was arrested last week for allegedly stealing more than $30,000 from a client. Lauren Stone, the owner of Stone River Farms, is accused of stealing a client’s money that was allocated to purchase horses, property, and other horse related items.

Court records state Stone, of Weatherford, also made unauthorized credit card charges to her riding student’s card between May and August 2014. Stone promised the victim, Loretta Sprague, that she would return the $35,155, but has failed to do so.

The detective in the case received a recording of a conversation between Spraque, her attorney, and Stone in which the defendant admitted to not using the funds as promised. Stone also promised to pay back Sprague in the recording.

“I thought she was my friend,” says Sprague. “It is amazing how crooked she is – I feel betrayed.”

Sprague says a local horse person recommended Stone’s services to her, but that is all the further her vetting of Stone went.

Stone River Farms advertises its business as a “‘family-centered’ equestrian facility that specializes in riding instruction and equestrian education,” according to its website. Stone leases a barn in Brock and offers horse boarding, hunter/jumper lessons, children’s summer day camps, horse shows, consignment and horse sales.

Sprague has since learned the rest of the story, which includes a flurry of allegations surrounding bad checks and other faulty deals. Stone has also been convicted of theft twice in Texas, once in 1993 and in 2009. An animal cruelty charge also resides on Stone’s rap sheet. She pleaded nolo contendere in 2010.

Stone was indicted by a Shelby County, Alabama grand jury in January 2012. The indictment states between December 2010 through July 2011 [Stone] knowingly obtain[ed] or exert[ed] unauthorized control over … U.S. Currency and/or checks, the property of, Windwood Farms.

In April 2014, Stone accepted a deal and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft. She was sentenced to a suspended one-year jail sentence and two years unsupervised probation. Stone was also ordered to pay back $48,481 to her victims in the case.

“I didn’t want her to be able to do this to someone else,” Sprague says.

Stone has not been charged after her most recent arrest, but the case is expected to go before the grand jury in the coming months.

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