Colfax woman who embezzled more than $100K sentenced to three years
August 22, 2014
An employee of a Grass Valley-based glass company who embezzled more than $100,0000 was sentenced Thursday to three years.
But Jeanne Marie Schreib will serve that as a split sentence with one year in jail, which she would serve with half-time credit for good behavior. She will, however, be on mandatory supervised probation for two years.
The Colfax resident had been hired by Pro Glass and Mirror in August 2012, and reportedly had written the first in a lengthy series of checks to herself less than two weeks later.
She was arrested in March 2014 after the glass store's co-owner, Jessica Swartz, became suspicious of reports of duplicate checks being issued.
“I could understand the theft if she was doing it to feed her children or pay medical bills. But she was doing it to live a lavish lifestyle, because she’s selfish – she’s a manipulative con artist.”
Pro Glass and Mirror co-owner
Schreib was charged with one count of embezzlement and six counts of forgery, and pleaded no contest to embezzlement in return for the proposed three-year sentence.
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Deputy District Attorney Jim Phillips put Swartz on the stand at Schreib's sentencing in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday, saying that one year in jail was "inadequate for a theft of this magnitude," and in light of her prior theft history.
Swartz told Judge Candace Heidelberger that Schreib was guilty of writing a "ridiculous" amount of checks to herself, as well as taking out a credit card in the company's name and paying her phone bill with company funds.
She estimated that Schreib had stolen about $104,000, adding that an audit was still uncovering losses, and saying that the company nearly went bankrupt due not only to the theft, but due to damaged credit.
Swartz said she considered Schreib part of the family and described herself as heartbroken.
She said Schreib and her family had a high standard of living with "lots of toys," adding, "They have a good time. They don't do without."
According to Swartz, Schreib — or her husband — had been trying to sell off a lot of their quads and a "toy hauler," as part of evidence into whether she intended to pay restitution.
Schreib's husband apparently lost his job and has used up all his disability payments, according to testimony presented during the hearing.
"I could understand the theft if she was doing it to feed her children or pay medical bills," Swartz told Heidelberger. "But she was doing it to live a lavish lifestyle, because she's selfish – she's a manipulative con artist.
"I would gladly sit in jail for six months for $106,000," Swartz said. "I'll trade places with her."
Phillips noted that if she was released after 180 days in jail, by his calculations she would serve one day in jail for every $570 she stole.
"That is utterly wrong," he said, adding that he was concerned she would never pay restitution.
Schreib's public defender, Tamara Zuromskis, disputed that her client was getting off "scot-free" and said she was prepared to concede a restitution amount of nearly $90,000.
"She does not want to make an excuse for her conduct — she is sincerely remorseful, she wants to do the right thing," Zuromskis said.
She said she was not aware of Schreib selling off any assets, and said the court was issuing "very, very specific" orders to pay restitution that include filing statements and obtaining permission to liquidate certain assets.
Zuromskis also questioned why Phillips — who OK'd the plea agreement — now was asking for it to be set aside.
What changed for him, Phillips said, was the evidence presented that Schreib was flagrantly selling assets and "thumbing her nose at her obligations" to pay restitution to her victims.
"I fully recognize the harm done to the victims," Heidelberger said, explaining that under the plea agreement, Schreib would be sentenced to three years, to be served in county jail.
Because of realignment, Schreib will get day-for-day credit, and no supervision when the jail sentence is done.
But with split sentencing, she gets less time in jail, but the balance is on mandatory supervision that will help ensure she fulfills her restitution obligation, Heidelberger said.
Schreib will be subject to very stringent requirements, Heidelberger pledged, adding that if she violates those, she will go back into custody.
She told Schreib, who reportedly wants to attend cosmetology school, to get a job and start paying restitution immediately.
"Hopefully you heard the harm you have caused this family and their business," Heidelberger said.
A restitution conference as set for Sept. 25.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.