Goodwill Industries Santa Clara County Emerges From Embezzlement Scandal; Prison Sentences Imposed On Family Theft Ring.
Barnett said that while "we're pleased that the court has ordered these criminals to be imprisoned for breaking the law, we are disappointed the law provides such a short sentence for crimes that caused great harm to the community and to the reputation of our charitable organization."
Before denying probation and issuing sentences, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Melinda Stewart yesterday said, "They greedily and selfishly enriched themselves at the expense of Goodwill and the donating public." Stewart called their actions "the ultimate violation of community trust."
Linda Faye Marcil, the alleged ringleader of the family theft ring, was sentenced to four years in prison. Her sisters, Bonnie Marcil and Ellen Salas each received three-year prison terms.
A fourth sister, Dale Rice, was sentenced to two years. The sisters' brother, Cliff Miller, received a lighter sentence of 16 months. In addition, Judge Stewart imposed restitution fines and said she will determine in the next 30 days the amount of restitution each will be required to pay Goodwill Industries of Santa Clara for their involvement in the embezzlement.
Sentencing for Mike Mitchell, who is Bonnie Marcil's son, was delayed until next week because of his attorney's absence. The case against a seventh individual, Jeffrey Marcil is pending.
Yesterday's court action brought the beginning of closure to a process that was triggered by a Santa Clara County District Attorney investigation in September 1997. The investigation led to the arrest of the family theft ring. They were charged with conspiracy and theft of donated goods and cash register receipts from their employer, Goodwill of Santa Clara County.
The four sisters were long-time Goodwill store managers. All of the individuals with the exception of Jeffrey Marcil pleaded no contest to the charges.
"I would like to express our outrage at these individuals who betrayed the community's trust, who violated the community by stealing from Goodwill and using the profits for their own greed," Goodwill Board Chairman Alan Richter said in Judge Stewart's court prior to sentencing. "The victims were these unserved members of our community, still out on the street or without an opportunity to gain a useful skill in order to escape a life of poverty or dependence upon public welfare," Richter said.
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Stephen Lowney, who led the embezzlement investigation, said the "judge could have given these people probation and she did not. The prison terms were appropriate and will probably be an effective deterrent."
Goodwill Industries of Santa Clara County provides training and vocational opportunities for people with disabilities or other barriers to employment. Revenues from the organization's 11 thrift stores fund Goodwill Industries training programs.
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|Date:||Oct 27, 1998|
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