Former New Jersey Law Firm Employees Who Embezzled More Than $788,000 In Law Firm Funds Sentenced To Prison
By: Christopher A. Iacono
Two former employees of a law firm based in Edison, N.J., were sentenced to prison terms yesterday for conspiring to defraud their former employer by improperly diverting more than $788,000 from the law firm. Marla Deptula previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. She was sentenced to 20 months in prison. Rose L. Crabbe pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. She was sentenced to 15 months in prison. In addition to the prison terms, Deptula and Crabbe were both sentenced to three years of supervised release. Deptula was ordered to pay $705,093 in restitution and Crabbe was ordered to pay $74,206 in restitution.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office, Deptula and Crabbe each admitted that between February 2005 and September 2007, they conspired to embezzle, and did, in fact, embezzle, from their former law firm employer by wrongfully writing checks from the law firm’s trust and business accounts to themselves and their personal creditors to pay for their personal expenses, including credit card bills, real estate taxes and child care expenses. Deptula and Crabbe then mailed some of the checks to their personal creditors. They further admitted to attempting to hide their theft by altering the payee information in the law firm’s accounting records.
Deptula, who had access to the law firm’s bank accounts in order to perform her duties as a secretary in the law firm’s real estate section, used that access to divert more than $788,000 from the attorney trust and business accounts for her and Crabbe’s personal benefit. Deptula received the vast majority of the stolen funds and failed to report any of the income on her federal tax returns.