DA: Bookkeeper's Sentencing Depends on How Much She Pays Back

Kerri Dewhirst expected to serve 1 and 6 years on embezzlement charge following guilty plea.

, a former bookkeeper at accused of embezzling more than $400,000, is on a county court docket for sentencing on Wednesday.

Dewhirst, 36, of Ronkonkoma, pleaded guilty as charged to a single count indictment of second-degree grand larceny, a felony, before Suffolk County Criminal Court Judge James C. Hudson in Riverhead on Oct. 10, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesman for District Attorney Thomas J. Spota's office.

Free on $250,000 bond, Dewhirst is expected to be sentenced to between 1 and 6 years. "The Court indicated that if the defendant had $40,000 at the time of sentencing to pay restitution, the Court would sentence her to 2-6 years in prison," Clifford said. "If the defendant had $60,000 for restitution at the time of sentence, the Court would sentence her to 1-3 years in prison." 

He added that any restitution not paid up front would be part of a $500,000 restitution judgment order.

Dewhirst was arrested in May 2011, after a nine-month investigation that she had stolen from the company for three years.

An assistant district attorney told the judge at her that she paid herself unauthorized salaries and paid her credit cards after being hired in 2007 to assist with the books and then take them over for a company family member who was ill.

Dewhirst's attorney Joseph DiBenedetto did not immediately return a call for comment.

MARTIN DREW January 03, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Ju$tice in action .. Over $20 k on a half million you can cut your $entence in half ; Amazing work Mr District Attorney ..
S.B. Bonacker January 03, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I don't get this sentencing "bracket" at all! She stole from a company and needs to do do time for the crime AND pay the money back, with interest. Otherwise this criminal act ends up being a loan, and sends the wrong message to others who think they can get away with it too.
tom January 04, 2012 at 03:22 AM
...and the company had to lay off employees they needed because of the loss.
Dana Alison January 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Agreed... she should have to pay it ALL back... and do her jail time.
Taylor K. Vecsey January 04, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Just an update for all: The sentencing was adjourned until Feb. 21.


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