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Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

Guengerich gets probation for embezzlement

Aug 06, 2018

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

 

A Washingotn woman has received five years of probation after embezzling money from Archer Appliance and Electronics.

Robin Renee Guengerich, 47, of Washington, received five years’ probation after embezzling money from Archer Appliance and Electronics in Washington. During a sentencing hearing Friday, Washington County Attorney John Gish asked for 30 days to file a restitution statement for Guengerich to repay the money she had taken. He said the restitution would include the money taken as well as reimbursement for the man hours used to audit the financial records. The amount, he stated, would be “north of $20,000, if not $30,000.” During the sentencing Guengerich testified that she had taken money from Archer accounts, saying she did not steal “right off the bat” when she began working at Archer in May 2017.

“Cash would come in,” she said. “I wasn’t thinking clearly and I changed deposits.”

As part of a plea agreement, Guengerich pled guilty to one count of second degree theft in exchange for a second count of theft to be dropped. The problems in the bookkeeping at Archer were discovered in July 2017. Guengerich also testified she had a gambling problem at the time.

As part of the hearing, Archer owner Kevin Erpelding testified, saying he has had to take out a loan to keep the business open after the loss of the money, saying in the 71 days Guengerich worked for Archer, she almost bankrupted a business that had been open for 28 years. He also said he had gone weeks without pay last summer to try to maintain a positive financial record for the business.

Erpelding said that many of the accounts Guengerich had stolen from were US Cellular accounts and he had paid the deficit himself. He also said for this alone US Cellular could have canceled his contract, which would have ruined his business. He spoke of going through a number of his accounts he thought were fine, only to find out they were running in deficit.

“I hope you get what you deserve for trying to ruin my business and my life,” he said.

During discussion on the sentence Raymond Tinnian, Guengerich’s attorney, asked for a deferred sentence so Guengerich could get a job to repay Archer. He also said she had repaid $5,000 to the business without a guilty verdict.

“I am extremely remorseful,” Guengerich testified. “I did not mean to cause the downfall of Kevin’s business. I am terribly sorry and I live with it every day. I know what I did and it is inconceivable what I did.”

During the sentencing, Tinnian said he plans to contest the amount the state asks for in restitution, stressing he is doing that and not his client.

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