It’s been said that you can steal thousands more with a pen than with a gun. Accountants and bookkeepers can cook the book a hundred ways to hide their crime and it’s really easy when they have authority to sign checks and take in cash on their own.

The office manager of Stephens Chrysler Jeep, dealership in Greenwich, NY was arrested and charged with grand larceny in connection with the theft of over $5,000. Dawn Defayette had worked at the dealership for four years until an internal audit revealed the embezzlement.

Defayette pled guilty to the crime and was sentenced to 6 months in the county jail and ordered to make restitution.

During the investigation it was discovered that she was also convicted of grand larceny when she stole over $14,000 in cash from the Glens Falls city clerk’s office in 1995. The cash was collected for fishing and hunting permits.

The owner of the Stephens dealership, Lady Rucinski, said she was unaware of Defayette’s prior record although she was aware that she had worked at other car dealerships. “The worst thing about it is this is someone I trusted,” “I was floored and hurt,” Rucinski noted. Maybe she wouldn’t have been floored if she had done a background check.

Believe it or not, after she was fired from the dealership, Police reported that she was hired at Vittengl Ford in Fort Ann, New York. It seems that automobile dealerships in upstate New York are unaware of criminal background checks.