Oct. 19, 2002 A former Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs employee will begin serving a year in prison Monday after pleading guilty last week to embezzlement charges.
Anella Pinney, 53, worked as the former assistant director of licensing at the department, and according to court records, swiped more than $6,000 in cash for licensing fees over seven months last year.
On Wednesday, Territorial Court Judge Edgar Ross sentenced Pinney on four of 12 counts of embezzlement, after she struck a deal with the government for her guilty plea.
And although both the prosecution and Pinney's attorney, George Canton Jr., said during the proceedings that Pinney should suffer some punishment other than jail time, Ross refused to impose a mere "slap on the wrist."
"Resignation and restitution will not be the norm of the day," Ross said, according to an article in The Avis. "Employment by the government is not a right; it is an honor."
Pinney is paying back the money she stole, and so far, has made restitution to the tune of $2,000, records show.
Canton said money problems drove Pinney to commit the crimes, and Pinney said she needed the cash to make payments on a vehicle she had purchased.
The explanation, apparently, did not suffice for Ross. Pinney was sentenced to two years to run concurrently for each count of embezzlement. He suspended all jail time in excess of one year. Pinney also must repay the $4,425 she still owes DLCA.
Ross released Pinney on her own recognizance to attend to personal matters. She will turn herself into authorities and begin serving her sentence Monday.
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