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Former Worcester property manager gets probation, ordered to pay $60K she stole from employer
By Gary V. Murray
Telegram & Gazette Staff
Telegram & Gazette Staff
Posted Jun. 21, 2016
WORCESTER - A woman charged with stealing from her former employer to fuel a gambling addiction was placed on probation and ordered to pay $60,000 in restitution Tuesday in Central District Court.
Jenilee Derosiers, 31, whose address is listed in court records as 4 Wyman St., admitted to sufficient facts for a guilty finding on a charge of larceny of more than $250 by a single scheme involving the theft of at least $60,000 from Hampton Properties, a Worcester-based real estate development and apartment-rental company where she worked for several years before being charged last October.
Judge Michael G. Allard-Madaus continued the larceny charge without a finding for three years, during which time Ms. Derosiers will be on probation. As conditions of probation, Ms. Derosiers was ordered to to pay a total of $60,000 in restitution, $10,000 of it by Friday, and to continue undergoing counseling for her gambling problem. The balance of the restitution is to be paid at a rate of at least $500 a month, and the judge said he would consider reducing the period of probation if the money is paid in full sooner.
Ms. Derosiers' lawyer, Peter L. Ettenberg, had asked Judge Allard-Madaus to continue the larceny charge without a finding for two years with an order of restitution. Assistant District Attorney Nathan Morse did not object to probation and a restitution order, but asked the judge to find Ms. Derosiers guilty.
According to a statement of facts filed in court by Worcester Detective Michael Tarckini, the thefts occurred on various dates from early 2013 until about Aug. 28, 2015. Ms. Derosiers, who worked as a property manager for Hampton Properties, received rental payments and security deposits from tenants in the form of cash, and kept some or all of the monies for her personal use, investigators alleged. It was also alleged that Ms. Derosiers altered the company's financial records to cover up her thefts.
While agreeing to accept $60,000 in restitution, Russell Haims, president of Hampton Properties, said he believed the amount stolen by Ms. Derosiers was closer to $95,000, and possibly as high as $135,000.
In support of his request that Ms. Derosiers be found guilty, Mr. Morse noted that the charge against her involved a significant amount of money. The prosecutor told the court that Mr. Haims had caught Ms. Derosiers stealing from him once before, but had given her a second chance after she paid back the money.
Mr. Haims said in an impact statement that Ms. Derosiers breached the trust he had placed in her. He said his former employee was paid a salary and commissions, and was provided with three new vehicles and a cellphone during the course of her employment.
"Little did I know that she was stealing from me for so long," he told the judge. Calling the thefts "calculating" and "cold-hearted," Mr. Haims said he had to pay forensic auditors $60,000 to methodically go through the transactions involving Ms. Derosiers, and was forced to sell two properties to meet his company's financial obligations.
Mr. Ettenberg said his client, who grew up in Southbridge, had no prior criminal record. He told Judge Allard-Madaus Ms. Derosiers had taken steps to address her gambling addiction, which Mr. Morse said had been evidenced by the discovery of scratch tickets in her desk.
After the thefts were first reported to authorities, Ms. Derosiers met with police and prosecutors and was "totally forthcoming," according to her lawyer.
Knowing she would have to pay restitution, Ms. Derosiers began working two jobs, and she and her fiance cut back on their expenses, so she could make the anticipated monthly restitution payments, Mr. Ettenberg said. He added that Ms. Derosiers was hoping to obtain a loan or receive financial contributions from her family to help her pay restitution.
While there had been no publicity concerning her criminal case prior to Tuesdays's court hearing, Mr. Ettenberg pointed out that a reporter was present in court, and said he feared the media coverage might jeopardize her employment status.
"The press is here. There's going to be an article. She could lose both her jobs," Mr. Ettenberg told Judge Allard-Madaus.
"The damage that you did is significant," the judge told Ms. Derosiers. He said the continuance without a finding, which would enable Ms. Derosiers to avoid having a felony conviction, was "a tremendous opportunity for you to rehabilitate yourself."
The judge continued Ms. Derosiers' case to Sept. 20 for what he called a "90-day review" and said she would have to inform the court of any change in her employment.