A Carson City woman who embezzled nearly $40,000 dollars from a local paint company where she was employed as an office manager was given a probationary sentence Monday and ordered to pay restitution to her employers.
Janet Leichsenring, 38, plead guilty to attempted theft, in December of 1998, after her employers confronted her about some missing checks in the company register that she could not account for, according to investigator’s reports.
Leichsenring originally contacted the Carson City Sheriff’s Department, telling them that she had an agreement with her employers where she would continue to work and pay restitution and sign over 6,666 shares of stock that she said were worth about $5 each.
When after two months they did not receive the stock, the paint store owners notified the authorities, saying that she had not yet returned the stock and that it was only worth about $1 per share anyway.
Originally the Carson City District Attorney’s office opted to treat the case as a civil matter until it was realized that Leichsenring’s employers had not participated in the restitution agreement.
At the time Sgt. Fred Schoenfeldt, an investigating officer, wrote, “It is the opinion of this investigator that the only restitution agreement entered into was totally one-sided by the suspect and never agreed to by the victims – although the victims played into the suspect’s hands to an extent in an effort to keep her from fleeing while there was an ongoing investigation.”
A company official said Leichsenring’s improprieties were not easily noticed because she balanced the company books by not paying taxes for 1998. As a result, he wrote, the company owed $59,000 in state and federal taxes.
The case also has a bizarre twist.
While Leichsenring was trying to repay the $40,000, several money orders that she purchased were stolen out of a mailbox. About three of nine that she claims totaled $2,900, were found in the motel room of three suspects arrested on “check washing” charges. Nine of the six money orders not accounted for, never reached their destination.
“My life is ruined,” Leichsenring said in February. “I’m losing my car. I almost lost my house, which I just moved into last month. My checking account is overdrawn. My credit history is ruined.”
The conditions of Leichsenring’s five-year probation are that she must submit to an in-patient program for drug treatment, and pay $39,980 in restitution. If she fails to meet these requirements, she will spend a minimum of one year in prison.
Leichsenring expressed remorse for her action and plead for leniency for an offense that she says will be her last.
“All I’ve wanted to do with this whole thing is to take it back,” she said.