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Woman gets probation for $30K theft

January 29, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A Berkeley County woman was placed on supervised probation for two years after admitting in circuit court Thursday that she stole about $30,000 from the Inwood, W.Va., branch of BB&T bank in September 2008 while cleaning the offices with her daughter.

"I'm very sorry that this occurred," said a tearful Marion Margaret Dietrich, 47, who entered a guilty plea to one felony count of grand larceny in front of 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gina M. Groh.

The judge accepted the plea, which allowed for a one- to 10-year prison sentence to be suspended. A BB&T representative at the hearing was presented with a $11,246 check for restitution. Authorities recovered $18,654 from Dietrich's home at 389 Bluff Trail, Gerrardstown, W.Va., according to a complaint by West Virginia State Police Trooper J.M. Walker.

When asked by Groh to explain what she did criminally wrong, Dietrich, 47, told the judge Thursday that she found the cash in a garbage can and took it from the bank while cleaning.

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In a previous court hearing, Dietrich's daughter, Kristeen Dietrich, 18, was placed on one year of unsupervised probation after she entered a guilty plea to a count of accessory after the fact grand larceny, according to her mother's attorney, Harley O. Wagner. A six-month jail sentence was suspended in the daughter's case, Wagner said.

"This is a good lady who, through financial hardship, made a very poor decision to which she has taken full responsibility for," Wagner said of Marion Dietrich's actions.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Harvey said the plea was accepted because Marion Dietrich had no criminal history and readily admitted to taking the money and made the effort to fully repay the bank.

Bank officials told police the money was taken on the evening of Sept. 11, 2008, but did not report it until Sept. 24, according to court records.

Walker, in a brief interview last year, declined to say where the money was taken from inside the bank, and the BB&T representative at the court hearing Thursday declined to comment about Dietrich's account of where she found the money.

In his complaint, Walker said Dietrich's daughter told the trooper she saw her mother put the money into a garbage bag, which was then taken out of the building.

The young woman also said that her mother gave her some of the stolen money on a couple of occasions, according to the complaint.

When questioned, the woman's mother admitted taking the money, Walker said.

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