Refund debt piles up after the wife 4th embezzlement conviction

Lori Smith, 47, Lansing, Michigan., is convicted for embezzlement four times, because of the almost $250,000 in restitution payments.

(Lansing Police)

A Michigan woman told a judge she just couldn’t resist the urge to steal money if she waited to be sentenced this week for its fourth embezzlement conviction since 1996.

Lori Smith, 47, of Lansing, pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $20,000 from a non-profit food bank earlier this year, the Lansing State Journal reported. They had added 1,147 additional hours to receive her salary in the course of 10 months.

But that amount was only a fraction of what they owed to the restitution of payments. Smith has built up nearly $250,000 in restitution of the debt of its three previous convictions, the report said.

A Lansing woman who embezzled money from Cristo Rey, a non-profit food bank, was convicted in Ingham County on its 4th embezzlement conviction.

— Lansing State Journal (@LSJNews) August 16, 2018

According to the State Journal, Smith’s first attack came in 1996 while working at her ex-father-in-law’s company, Ewing Well Drilling Inc. She pleaded guilty in 2000 and was sentenced for four counts of the crime of embezzlement, sentenced to six months on probation and a $1,000 refund of the payment.

Smith was convicted again in 2006 for embezzling from the Michigan Municipal League in 1998. She was ordered to pay back the $156,543, and sentenced to five years probation. They stopped the payments in 2011, still as a result of more than $116,000, when she was arrested again.

This time, Smith was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison. Her new employer gave her access to the credit card of the company, which they used to buy nearly $ 100,000 worth of personal items for themselves and family, the paper reported. She pleaded guilty to access device fraud, and was ordered to pay $119,627 in restitution.

Smith appeared apologetic in court Wednesday. She said she plans to pay back the money that she owes, going so far as to get her forklift certification in the prison, so that they can land a job that will not give her direct access to money, the paper reported.

“I made the big mistake to go back to work in an office,” Smith said. “I realize now I can’t and probably never will.”

The judge sentenced Smith to five years probation, choose not to give her more jail time, because she was there today a federal sentence. She was also ordered to repay $20,000.

Click here for more from the Lansing State Journal.

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