$150K theft brings jail term | NevadaAppeal.com

$150K theft brings jail term

Staff report

A Carson City woman who admitted embezzling more than $150,000 from a title company was sentenced Monday to 60 days in jail as part of her probation.

Robin Claire Ecklund, 47, apologized to officers of Marquis Title and Escrow Co. who attended the District Court sentencing.

“I did a lot of damage friendship-wise and reputation-wise,” Ecklund said. “If I could go back in time and not do it, I would. I didn’t mean any harm. I thought I could fix it.”

Ecklund worked as an escrow officer at the Elk Point branch of Marquis Title when the money disappeared between April 2004 and January.

The discrepancies were discovered during an audit. Officials said employees spent hundreds of hours tracking down Ecklund’s misappropriations.

District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced her to a suspended 10-year sentence in Nevada State Prison.

She was ordered to pay $150,549 restitution at $750 a month. She had $22,235 in a bank account which was turned over to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Terms of her five-year probation include mandatory attendance at least three times a week at Gamblers Anonymous, regular financial disclosure, and no contact with employees of the title company.

Gibbons also forbid her from entering a casino or gaming establishment for any purpose.

Ecklund’s attorney, Robert Benjamin Walker, said his client was working two full-time jobs to pay back the victims.

“If your employers don’t hold your jobs, you will have to start over,” Gibbons said.

“There has to be some element of punishment. The jail sentence is an immediate consequence. It messes up your life.”

He said he would have given her a longer jail term had she not spent five months on house arrest.

Ecklund said she spent the money gambling, to pay off a car loan and to purchase food and clothing and pay rent for her two grown children.

“This case is like many I have seen in embezzlements. It gets into a never-ending cycle and gets out of control quickly,” Gibbons said. “Meanwhile, a company like this is in a terrible situation. They’re in a position of handling money and they feel stabbed in the back. Fortunately, this company survived.”