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Woman Who Stole $399,525 To Serve 6 Years

April 21, 2011, 5:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Woman Who Stole $399,525 To Serve 6 Years
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Thursday, another Sioux Falls office manager found herself facing a prison sentence for stealing money from the company she worked for.

Karen Lovro admitted to aggravated grand theft back in January for stealing $399,525 from Musivend, a company that supplies businesses with coin operated machines ranging from arcade games to dart boards and jukeboxes. Thursday, she sat in front of a judge and was told she'll have to pay back every dollar and spend time in prison.

Lovro used a hood to hide her face while she walked around the Minnehaha County Courthouse. Prosecutors say she used multiple books and intercepted bank reports to hide that she was taking money from her employer every month. A total of 226 times, she wrote herself a check. Deputy State's Attorney Tom Hensley called Lovro a crafty thief.

"You trust other people. If you can't, especially the people you work with closely every day, our whole loves are affected, everyone's lives are affected by that breach of trust," Hensley said.

Lovro's defense attorney explained to the court that the thefts started as a result to an addiction to video lottery, and that Lovro was spending $700 per week to feed that addiction. The attorney said Lovro is now punishing herself, and will for the rest of her life. Lovro has sold her home and cashed her retirement accounts.

Today she was prepared to start paying money back to Musivend, and had separate checks totaling $126,000 she was ready to pay today.

The judge said he took that and many other factors into consideration in handing down a six year prison sentence. If Lovro has trouble, she could spend an additional nine years behind bars. She'll also have to keep paying back the money she stole.

"What it impacted, as you heard by what the owner expressed to the courts, was their level of trust that they extend to employees, to those whom they do business. Financially, it also severely impacted them," Hensley said.

Lovro has two weeks to turn herself in. She'll have to serve one year, nine months and 18 days before she's eligible for parole.

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