Woman who stole $124,000 sentenced to probation
An Illinois woman who admitted she had a gambling addiction when she embezzled $124,000 from a Quad-City staffing agency was sentenced Thursday to probation.
Scott County District Judge Mark Cleve told 40-year-old Heather Quist of Carbon Cliff that if she violates her probation, she'll face 20 years in prison.
She had pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree theft.
"I want to teach my children that if you own up to what you've done, there is some sort of forgiveness," Quist said in court.
Cleve said he was giving Quist probation so she can work to pay off what she stole from Chenhall's Staffing, 2119 E. 12th St., Davenport, where she worked at least two years as a recruitment specialist.
Court records state Quist issued checks to herself from the company's checking account without authorization and deposited the checks into two different banking institutions.
When issuing checks to herself, she forged the name of the company’s owner, Bob Hickman, records state.
She accused of embezzling $124,812.92 from the company account from October 2010 to December 2012.
"She's very embarrassed about what happened," her attorney, Jean Capdevila, said.
Capdevila said Quist suffers an addictive personality disorder, including a gambling addiction, as well as bipolar disorder.
Quist said in court that she's seeking therapy for her gambling addiction and hasn't gambled in a year.
Hickman, who appeared at her sentencing, declined comment afterward.
She pleaded guilty in 1998 to fourth-degree theft, court records state. She was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation. Fines, court costs and restitution at the time totaled $1,000.
Originally Posted Online: Nov. 08, 2013
By Rachel Warmke
A Carbon Cliff woman has pleaded guilty in Scott County to two counts of theft that say she embezzled more than $120,000 from her employer and used the identity of a former employee to cash phony paychecks.
Heather Quist, 38, a former accountant with Chenhall's Staffing, 2119 E. 12th St., Davenport, faces 10 years in prison for each count of theft.
She is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 26, when two counts of forgery and one count of fraud (identity theft) are expected to be dismissed as part of a plea bargain.
Scott County prosecutors said that between Oct. 18, 2008, and April 9, 2010, Ms. Quist issued 38 payroll checks in the name of a former employee, for work that had never been done.
After forging the name of the past worker on the check, Ms. Quist wrote "pay to the order of" and her name on the back of each check, and cashed them, charges say.
"The victim of the identity theft never authorized the use of his personal information by the defendant," a police affidavit states, alleging the name of the former employee, his date of birth and social security number were among details deceitfully used.
Charges say the scheme cost Chenhall's Staffing about $40,205.
In a second felony count, Ms. Quist was accused of embezzling about $124,812 from the company's account between October 2010 and December 2012, then forging the name of the owner or using a signature stamp to issue checks to herself.
Charges say she deposited the checks between three accounts she had with two banks.
In a victim impact statement filed Aug. 22, company owner Robert Hickman claimed Ms. Quist had stolen $190,000 during five years, which "about put us under."
He said his company has since adopted new accounting policies. "Double checks on everything related to financial!" he wrote.