5 get probation in scheme to cash stolen city checks

August 10, 1994|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Sun Staff Writer

Two former Baltimore City government employees and three other women have been placed on probation after pleading guilty in a scheme to cash checks stolen from a city vault.

Janet L. Zientak, 29, who resigned last month from the city's Public Works Department, received a two-year suspended sentence and was ordered to pay $12,892 in restitution to the city and an additional $6,130 to a Baltimore check cashing company, court records show. Ms. Zientak, who pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge, also was placed on five years' supervised probation during a hearing Friday in Baltimore Circuit Court.

Also pleading guilty to felony theft charges were: Josephine Garcia, Ms. Zientak's 27-year-old sister; Linda Boggs, 38; and Marcella Madera, 45. All received probation and suspended sentences, along with orders to pay restitution ranging from $3,000 to $15,000.

Catherine M. Singh, 46, a former employee in the city payroll department who was fired in March in connection with the allegations against her, received probation after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge.

Harry Maris, 47, also charged with cashing a stolen check, has not been arrested.

City workers discovered the scheme in January. Singh stole a dozen checks and stamped them with the authorized signature for city payroll checks, and the others cashed six of the checks for amounts ranging from $8,000 to $12,000, said prosecutor Haven Kodek.

The defendants said the other six checks were destroyed, according to the prosecutor.

Sentencing guidelines called for the defendants to receive probation because none of them had a criminal record except for Boggs, who had a minor drug conviction, Mr. Kodek said.

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