Back to: Investigates
April 06, 2017 05:58 PM

Woman Who Appeared on "Dr. Phil" In Court Accused of Embezzling From VOA Clients

Sioux Falls, SD

You may remember Marna Gietzen who admitted on national TV that she was being investigated for stealing from her former Sioux Falls' employer.

Now she's officially charged with embezzling money from clients at the Volunteers of America Dakotas. 

KELOLAND News was there as Gietzen made her first court appearance, accompanied by her fiancé, Mark Burd.

We were tipped off months ago by a source who claimed Gietzen had been embezzling money from her employer.  However, no charges were filed.  

Then Gietzen turned up on the national TV show, "Dr. Phil," which airs on KELOLAND-TV and admitted she was under investigation. 

Gietzen has a criminal history of embezzlement and drunk driving. 

Her daughter hoped that by encouraging her mother to go on the "Dr. Phil Show," she could get her effective treatment for alcoholism. 

That was in October.  Since then, Gietzen relapsed and now faces charges of "embezzlement of property received in trust."

Gietzen, with Burd by her side, made her way into court Thursday.  While they weren't talking, they had plenty to say on the "Dr. Phil" program, which was rebroadcast on KELOLAND TV, just a few days ago.  

Kristin Haisch: And I don't think he knows that she's ever been in prison.
Gietzen: I love you so much.
Burd: I love you, babe.  

On the show, Gietzen admitted she was under investigation for embezzlement from her former employer, Volunteers of America Dakotas.  She even confessed to Burd that she was stealing from him.

"I would randomly go into his jewelry box and every so often I would take valuable items of his and go to different pawn shops and pawn them for cash," Gietzen said on the show.

Phil McGraw: So you robbed him.
Gietzen: Yeah, I did.

Yet Burd vowed to stay by Gietzen’s side.

McGraw:  If you really love her.
Burd:  I do. 
McGraw: Then you better let her know she better straighten her a** up or hit the bricks. Because if you enable this behavior, you are crippling her the same as if you held her down and poured alcohol in her mouth. You cannot help her by excusing self-destructive behavior. 
Burd: I want her to get the help. I will help support that, but she needs to shape up.

We tried to ask Burd about it at Gietzen's initial appearance in Minnehaha County Court on embezzlement charges. 

Kennecke: She admitted she stole from you.
Burd: How does no comment look? 

Gietzen is accused of taking between $2,500 and $5,000 from clients at Volunteers of America Dakotas, where she worked between August of 2014 and December of 2015. 

KELOLAND News has asked VOA about the case several times, including on Thursday, but so far we have received no comment. 

Gietzen is due back in court in June.  

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