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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,281
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Is This a Fair Sentence?


@FiddleDeeDee wrote:

@PickyPicky3  It may have to deal with the county, the state, the judge, what the parties agreed to due to the amount....who knows.

 

I know an individual who took in her long time friend (since gradeschool and they are now both in their late 50's) after she was released from prison (served 5 years) because the woman has no other place to live, not even a car because her car was take by the courts. Why?

 

She was the church accountant for 20 years and stole more than 2 MILLION dollars. Understand that this was money earmarked as pensions for church employees, money the church was going to put towards an elder care facility and other community service activities. These were her friends and colleges she stole from. Gambling addition and she liked NICE stuff. Bough a gorgeous condo, furnished it, bought a Mercedes sedan (S series), took cruises, lived a very nice life until the Head Office of the Denomination had a routine audit done while she was on a cruise. She was keeping 2 books, had numerous accounts and well, she was arrested when she arrived back at port.

 

@FiddleDeeDee What kind of church could have 2 million dollars stolen from them and not have anyone notice for awhile? That's a lot of money.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,783
Registered: ‎03-06-2020

Re: Is This a Fair Sentence?


@Ladybug724 wrote:

@FiddleDeeDee wrote:

@PickyPicky3  It may have to deal with the county, the state, the judge, what the parties agreed to due to the amount....who knows.

 

I know an individual who took in her long time friend (since gradeschool and they are now both in their late 50's) after she was released from prison (served 5 years) because the woman has no other place to live, not even a car because her car was take by the courts. Why?

 

She was the church accountant for 20 years and stole more than 2 MILLION dollars. Understand that this was money earmarked as pensions for church employees, money the church was going to put towards an elder care facility and other community service activities. These were her friends and colleges she stole from. Gambling addition and she liked NICE stuff. Bough a gorgeous condo, furnished it, bought a Mercedes sedan (S series), took cruises, lived a very nice life until the Head Office of the Denomination had a routine audit done while she was on a cruise. She was keeping 2 books, had numerous accounts and well, she was arrested when she arrived back at port.

 

@FiddleDeeDee What kind of church could have 2 million dollars stolen from them and not have anyone notice for awhile? That's a lot of money.


@Ladybug724  A very large and trusting one. She was good friends with the wife of the Preacher (decades of friendship), she had grown up in the town and that church. Bottom line, she was TRUSTED by everyone there and as long as bills were paid and everything looked good, they had no reason to think anything was wrong. She handled payroll, she handled all the bank statements, taxes, etc. She was a CPA, and knew exactly what she was doing. She had stories she told to explain how she had such a nice place  and car (God will provide!!) along with she claimed she did work privately for others during tax season (was not true). Her world was built on lies, deceit, theft and most importantly (and sadly) TRUST.  That money will never be paid back (she makes hardly anything) but essentially she ruined her life. No one speaks to her, cares about her, wants anything to do with her from the church or where she grew up; she did this all on her own. I've met her once and her attitude was one of "I'm only sorry that I was caught".

 

How nice.

"Coming to ya from Florida"
Honored Contributor
Posts: 40,716
Registered: ‎08-23-2010

Re: Is This a Fair Sentence?


@gabstoomuch wrote:

It was a crime, for sure. The problem is that our prisons are so over crowded there are many more plea deals being made now for people whose crime is not at the level of physically hurting another human, or being a danger in any way to society. I am sure she had to undergo a mental health exam before the court accepted that plea deal.

 

This is a paper crime. Is it wrong? Absolutely. The fact that she would be able to make restitution was what played in her favor. She will still have a criminal record so that will stop her shopping addiction, as she will never be able to get credit.

 

She will pay the ultimate price eventually. Paying restituion from her retirement account will affect her in her later years. Having any kind of criminal record will prevent her from working very many places, if at all.

 

Sometimes sitting in jail for this sort of crime is really just wasting space and we as taxpayers will be supporting her. Being on parole means she will have to fend for herself, along with the pressure that she needs to pay that off within 2 years or she WILL land in jail.

 

Her run up through her elder years is not looking very good in my opinion. I think her crime was very wrong, but I also believe she will pay for her crime in a different way. We want instant punishment to feel like she "paid her dues for her crime". In this case, time, aging, having to figure out how to support herself, pay for a place to live, hope to heck she doesn't get sick because she will not have health insurance, and where will she be when she is 70, 75 years old? Probably alone and lonely.  All that will be much more painful to her than sitting in a jail cell now.


 

@gabstoomuch 

 

It definitely won't stop her shopping addiction if she has ever heard of Easy Pay!  LOL   Woman LOL

Honored Contributor
Posts: 40,716
Registered: ‎08-23-2010

Re: Is This a Fair Sentence?


@Venezia wrote:

Interestingly, in another case (different state), a woman embezzled $166,000 from her employer.  

 

She was sentenced to 6 years in prison (all but 3 1/2 years suspended), 3 years of probation following and ordered to pay full restitution to the legal office she stole from.

 

She spent the money on online gaming through Facebook and MySpace.  (Her defense was that she didn't know what she was doing.  But she knew enough to cook the books.)

 

(Before anyone hypothesizes - she's white.)

 

Different states, different justice systems.


 

@Venezia 

 

Well, when you steal from a LAW FIRM you sort of have to expect they will take you down with the maximum penalty possible ... and then some.   

 

How would those lawyers look to all their other lawyer friends if they let her off easy?  

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,527
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Is This a Fair Sentence?

Yes... fair and reasonable.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,450
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Is This a Fair Sentence?

[ Edited ]

@FiddleDeeDee @Ladybug724 - Exactly.  People, especially when they're in a tight-knit community and have known each other "forever", trust those around them.

 

When that trust is destroyed, it damages far more than just the cash coffers.

 

A similar thing happened in my own small community, although for considerably less money (somewhere around $200,000) and the M.O. sounds exactly the same.  CPA, well-known and liked since childhood.  BUT what no one knew was he had a gambling addiction.

 

It was shockwaves and terrible disappointment, when an audit showed things just didn't add up.  In fact, it was the bank who notified others on the committee that something was amiss.  The community rallied around, but the loss of trust was something that can't be regained.

 

It happens more than people know, because these things often don't get national attention.