A bit of resolution today in the Ithaca, New York case of Donatella Luciano, who has now admitted in court to stealing more than $60,000 from Gimme Coffee. Ms. Luciano plead guilty to second-degree grand larceny charges, a felony that carries with it heavy restitution payments and the possibility of 3 1/2 to 10 years of prison time, a stint that could be significantly reduced based on speedy repayment to Gimme. The dirty Donatella details come to us from the Ithaca Journal online:
Luciano created false employment records to make $66,700 worth of payroll direct deposits into her bank accounts from January 2009 to May 2010, Ithaca Police officials and court papers said. Company officials found that payroll checks in the name of a former employee or fictitious employees had been deposited into accounts at local, western New York and Massachusetts banks.
Due to growth and expected expansion in early 2008, the Ithaca-based company embarked on an extensive recruiting process, hiring Luciano to assume the general manager’s payroll and human resources tasks in June of that year, court papers said. That autumn, company officials noticed bookkeeping inconsistencies, such as a former employee receiving a payment. Confronted with the discrepancy, Luciano told the officials that it wasn’t an issue because the payment had been reversed.
“I transferred money from the payroll accounts to my accounts,” Luciano admitted in court, adding, with some hesitation, that she used a computer to make what she called “direct deposit transfers” to those accounts. Sellers stepped in and explained that Luciano simply kept ex-employees on the payroll but changed bank information so their paychecks would be deposited into her accounts.
Drama! Cruise over to the Ithaca Journal’s coverage and read the epic flame war nonsense in the comments forum.