Pasadena woman pleads guilty to theft of $86,000

Police say woman forged, stole checks and gained access to former employer's account via check card

March 15, 2010|By Don Markus | | Baltimore Sun reporter

A 59-year-old Pasadena woman who police said stole more than $86,000 from a Howard County produce company where she worked as a bookkeeper pleaded guilty to theft on Monday in Howard County Circuit Court.

Joan Elizabeth Krempa of the 8400 block of Miramar Road forged the signature of the owner of Parade Produce in Jessup between February and November of 2008. According to police, she wrote checks amounting to $60,501 and deposited the money into her personal account. She also ordered a check card that gave her access to the company's checking account and stole another $25,600, some of which she used to pay for bail in an unrelated criminal case in Anne Arundel County.

The owner of the company discovered the theft while Krempa was in New York attending a dog show. She was fired in September 2008, but three months later tried to pass a stolen check at an Anne Arundel cash checking store, authorities say. Police were called to the store after a clerk called Krempa's former employer to verify her identity.

Krempa was arrested that day after leading police on a car chase in which she crashed into a police cruiser and resisted arrest. Howard County Senior Assistant State's Attorney Colleen McGuinn is seeking a sentence of 12 to 15 years for Krempa, who was charged with a single count of theft of more than $500. Krempa will be sentenced May 13.

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