MIDLAND (WWJ/AP) – A Midland woman has been ordered to serve three to 20 years in prison for stealing from the dentist’s office where she worked.
During her sentencing hearing Thursday in Midland County Circuit Court, 53-year-old Stephanie Cieslinski apologized, saying what she did was “inexcusable.”
Cieslinski pleaded guilty to a charge of embezzlement of more than $100,000, although prosecutors allege the actual amount stolen from Midland dentist Dr. Michael Smith over a period of at least 10 years was close to $1 million.
“I violated their trust and stole from them … I am truly, truly sorry for all the pain I caused,” Cieslinski said through tears.
She also pleaded guilty in August to a count of embezzling between $50,000 and $100,000.
Prosecutors say Cieslinski used portions of the stolen money to pay for her daughters to attend college and bought them new cars. At the same time, Smith went into debt to pay for his children’s educations, the Midland Daily News reported.
Cieslinski was also order to pay $750,000 in restitution, $34,255 of which she’s already paid.
Cieslinski’s husband, Ken, also faces charges in the case; two counts of embezzlement by an agent or trust between $1,000 and $20,000, each a five-year felony. The former Bay County jail officer was one month away from retiring when he was arrested in July.
The couple also faces an eight-count civil suit related to the embezzlement.
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