Pasadena woman gets 15 years for embezzling

Prosecutors say bookkeeper spent some of the money on Italian greyhounds

May 20, 2010|By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

A 59-year-old Pasadena woman who spent some of the nearly $86,000 she stole from her employer on the Italian greyhounds she bred and trained was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison.

Joan Elizabeth Krempa of the 8400 block of Miramar Road in Pasadena pleaded guilty in March to one count of theft from Parade Produce in Jessup. Howard County prosecutors say Krempa committed "102 acts of theft" over a nine-month period while working as a bookkeeper for the business.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Colleen McGuinn said Krempa forged her name on company checks, depositing 17 of them totaling about $60,500. McGuinn said Krempa then illegally obtained a company check card and used it for transactions amounting to another $25,000, including paying for the services of a bail bondsman in Anne Arundel County.

McGuinn said Krempa used about a quarter of the money to help fund her expensive hobby. Krempa was at a dog show in New York when the owner of Parade Produce discovered the theft.

The sentence was nearly double the state's guideline maximum of eight years and triple what defense attorneys Jonathan and Ronald Kurland had sought. Howard County Circuit Judge Lenore Gelfman said Krempa had "exploited a position of trust."

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