by Pat Maurer
A 39-year-old Farwell woman was sentenced Wednesday for embezzlement from Four Seasons in Farwell.
As the result of a plea bargain agreement July 5, Renee Ann Alana entered a no-contest plea to one count of embezzlement of over $50,000 and under $100,000 under Judge Thomas R. Evans.
The former office manager of Four Seasons Windows and Siding of Farwell, she was arrested and charged last December on the one count of embezzlement, a felony punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine; one count of larceny by conversion for more than $1,000 and less than $20,0000, punishable by five years and/or a $10,000 fine [or three times the value of the stolen property]; and a fourth offense Habitual Offender charge.
She had been with the business for three years and was fired in August 2010 when the investigation began.
She reportedly was also on probation for a year and a half from March 2008 to August 2009 for two charges of Uttering and Publishing in a February 2006 incident and at the time of the arrest was still on probation for an August 2009 conviction in Ingham County for charges of False Pretenses with Intent to Defraud more than $1,000 and less than $20,000.
Four Seasons owner Neal Satterlee said last December he was not sure exactly how much money was taken from the business. “I’ve been in business for 24 years and always tried to treat my employees and my customers like family,” he said then. “I would have helped her out if she had asked.”
September 6, Evans sentenced Alana to from 19 months to 15 years in prison for the embezzlement; to pay $68 in State costs, $130 in Criminal Victim’s Rights fees, $1,000 in fines and costs and $67,551.69 in restitution.
She is currently at the Clare County Jail awaiting transportation into the Department of Corrections system, said Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis.
Satterlee said, “I’m a little disappointed with the sentence. What she did hurt everybody connected to my company. It’s unfortunate.”
Ambrozaitis said, “I’m happy with the outcome – to get this woman behind bars where she belongs. It sends a message that if you steal from your employer there will be harsh consequences.”