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Woman pleads guilty to stealing $20K from Stamford employer

February 21, 2019 GMT

STAMFORD — A former clerk at a music store in the Stamford Town Center mall pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing over $20,000 from her employer by fraudulently processing refunds of the same CD box set collections and other items over and over again and pocketing the cash.

After making the plea to a felony charge of first-degree larceny, former FYE cashier Rishay Prescott, 32, of High Street, can avoid prison if she returns to court in mid April with $7,000 in cash, according to the terms of her plea agreement. If not, a Stamford judge will be free to sentence her to up to five years in prison, according to the deal outlined in court by Supervisory Assistant States Attorney Paul Ferencek.

Her public defender Barry Butler declined comment on the case.

If she comes in with the money, a judge can give her a five-year suspended jail sentence and five years probation. But she won’t be done then. The successful completion of her probation depends upon her repaying the $15,200 remaining that she owes the FYE store she was working at before it was shuttered last year.

If she violates her probation by not paying her debt, she can be made to serve all or part of her suspended sentence.

Prescott was arrested last August following an investigation by Stamford police that found she made 99 fraudulent returns to the store, 87 of which were caught on video tape, totaling $20,235, her seven-page affidavit said. The returns were made between Thanksgiving 2017 and March 13, 2018.

In one example that occurred on the day Prescott began making her phoney transactions, Nov. 24, 2017, police investigator Michael Stempien said Prescott processed a buyback return for 78 items for a man that included two Emerson, Lake & Palmer CDs, two Black Sabbath box sets and two Little Rascal DVDs. The next day Prescott processed buy backs that claimed to be for the same man who returned 71 items including the Emerson, Lake & Palmer CDs, two Black Sabbath box sets and two Little Rascal DVDS, the affidavit said.

Prescott was previously arrested for stealing personal information from a customer and opening several utility accounts at her residence, the affidavit said.

Prescott said she took the money because she was having trouble paying her bills.