TRENTON – Two former employees of a law firm based in Edison were sentenced to prison terms on Thursday for conspiring to defraud their former employer by improperly diverting more than $788,000 from the law firm, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Marla Deptula, 46, of Sayreville previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. She was sentenced to 20 months in prison. Rose L. Crabbe, 32, of Plainfield, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. She was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Both defendants previously entered their guilty pleas before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan, who imposed the sentences on June 6 in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Deptula and Crabbe each admitted that between February 2005 and September 2007, they conspired to embezzle, and did, in fact, embezzle, from their former employer, referred to in court documents only as the “Law Firm,” by wrongfully writing checks from the law firm’s trust and business accounts to themselves and their personal creditors to pay for their personal expenses, including credit card bills, real estate taxes and child care expenses. Deptula and Crabbe then mailed some of the checks to their personal creditors. They further admitted to attempting to hide their theft by altering the payee information in the law firm’s accounting records.
Deptula, who had access to the law firm’s bank accounts in order to perform her duties as a secretary in the law firm’s real estate section, used that access to divert more than $788,000 from the attorney trust and business accounts for her and Crabbe’s personal benefit. Deptula received the vast majority of the stolen funds and failed to report any of the income on her federal tax returns.
In addition to the prison terms, Deptula and Crabbe were both sentenced to three years of supervised release. Deptula was ordered to pay $705,093 in restitution and Crabbe was ordered to pay $74,206 in restitution.
Fishman credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Marie L. Kelokates: IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen; and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey, for the investigation leading to the sentences.
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