2018-04-15 / Police Beat

Lapeer woman, 59, who stole from North Branch Days committee gets jail

BY ANDREW DIETDERICH
810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER — A 59-year-old Lapeer woman was sentenced to six months in Lapeer County Jail after paying back a fraction of the more than $11,000 she attempted to embezzle from the North Branch Days Festival Committee more than five years ago.

Dawn M. Light was originally sentenced July 24, 2013 to 90 days in the Lapeer County Jail and placed on probation after pleading guilty Feb. 12, 2013 to attempted embezzlement of more than $1,000, but less than $20,000.

The original information felony complaint indicates the attempted embezzlement occurred during the 2008-2012 period.

Light was ordered to pay $12,634 in fines, court costs and restitution. She was also ordered to repay $535 in attorney’s fees.

Since her original sentencing, however, court documents indicate Light has paid a small fraction of the amount owed, despite consistently having employment.

A Jan. 3, 2018 “report of nonpayment of restitution” indicated Light had an arrearage of about $11,145.

A similar report from July 28, 2017 indicated that about $702 had been paid in restitution in the four years since Light was originally sentenced.

Further, a June 12, 2017 “motion, affidavit, and bench warrant” stated the court tried to work with Light and a new court payment plan went into effect on Oct. 18, 2016 calling for her to pay $50 a month.

Attorney Kayleen Hendler, representing Light, told County Circuit Court Judge Nick Holowka Monday that Light had been making more frequent payments since last autumn.

Because of the large amount still owed, however, Holowka said it was “something the court has to deal with.”

As a result, Holowka found Light in violation of her probation.

He ordered her to continue serving probation to the last possible day (July 22), and to six months in jail (credit for 72 days served). She is eligible for work release, and could be released from jail after 30 days “upon completion of a new court payment plan,” Holowka said during the hearing. Further, Light was ordered to pay $265 in new attorney fees.

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