LOHN, Texas (AP) -

A West Texas woman faces up to 15 years in federal prison for embezzling nearly $508,000 from a rural school district in a bogus checks scam.

Prosecutors say 58-year-old Patty E. Smith of Lohn will be sentenced later this year and could have to repay the money stolen since 2006.

Lohn is a town of about 150, located south of Coleman, southwest of Brownwood, southeast of Ballinger, north of Brady, and about 70 miles east of San Angelo.

Smith was business manager of the Lohn Independent School District, where she worked since 1977. She was arrested in 2012 after an audit.

Smith on Friday appeared before a magistrate in Austin and pleaded guilty to tax evasion and theft from an organization receiving federal funds.

Investigators say Smith had a person who was authorized to sign district checks sign blank ones for her use.