An update to an article we linked to here.

 

A Billings woman was sentenced to a year in federal prison for stealing nearly $400,000 from her former employer.

Jennifer Anne Thaw was sentenced on four counts of wire fraud for a term of 12 months and one day in U.S. District Court in Billings on Friday. Judge Susan Watters also ordered Thaw to serve three years on probation after she is released from prison. She is to pay $392,930.71 in restitution.

Over the course of seven years, Thaw stole $390,000 from her former employer, repossession company J&S Recovery. While overseeing accounts receivable and accounts payable, Thaw had transferred money into her personal Wells Fargo checking account, court documents state.

But while her gambling addiction was a focal point in the case, Watters said initial information showed Thaw spent only $103,000 on gambling.

Watters said the defense offered no clear account of where the remaining stolen money went, but that there was evidence Thaw was trying to make payments on household bills that became a problem after her husband lost his job.

Penelope Strong, Thaw’s defense attorney, said Thaw didn’t spend the money on lavish vacations or other big purchases. She has since filed for and been discharged from bankruptcy.

“She’s not the gambling addict who got rich,” Strong said.

Strong said Thaw betrayed her employers’ trust, but that their business was still operating today, and that her “persistent, severe gambling disorder” had fueled her actions. She asked for a sentence of probation only.

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